N35 billion deal to generate about 9,000 jobs, says ANSIPPA boss

From Obinna Odogwu, Awka

Anambra State Government has said that the state’s housing deficit has gone up to about 50 percent. It said that based on its study, the state runs a housing deficit of about 700,000 homes annually.

The Managing Director, Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), Mr Mark Okoye, stated this in Awka, the state capital, when the government signed a Public Private Partnership’s Framework Agreement (PPPFA) with seven estate developers.

Okoye said that the total size of the investment was about N35 billion as of Tuesday but was expected to go up higher later as execution commences considering the state of the economy.

He said that the technical aspects of the deals were handled by the Ministry of Lands and that the projects were expected to generate about 1,500 direct jobs and 7,500 indirect jobs when executions commence.

The ANSIPPA boss added that “Across all the seven framework agreements, we are looking at roughly 10,000 units of homes; between 8,000 to 10,000 units of homes.”

Okoye said that in addition to the estate developers who would be helping to tackle that challenge, the state was making efforts to bring the Federal Mortgage Bank to assist it.

“We are in discussion with the Federal Mortgage Bank for social housing schemes which is really what addresses the housing deficit for those who can’t afford more expensive houses”, Okoye said.

Group Managing Director (GMD) of Rainbow Heritage Project Services Limited, Mr Biedima Oliver, said that the housing deficit issue was a general problem but that his organisation would continue to support efforts to end it.

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Oliver said that his company would be building a minimum of 1,000 housing units and that the estate would cover 110 hectares of land.

“Within the estate, we want to focus on the medium and high income earners for now. We want to create a very functional estate that provides that level of ambience and splendour where people will believe that when you travel to Anambra State and state in Awka you’ll feel at home”, he said.

Commercial Director of the firm, Mrs Prinye Ngelale, said that she believed that their project, the Golf Residency, when completed, would help to take care of the housing needs in the state.

“I have a strong belief that it is going to take care of a good chunk of the housing needs in Anambra. We know apart from Nigeria as a whole having its gap with accommodation, we know we have a lot of Ndi Anambra in the Diaspora”, Ngelale said.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Periwinkle, Dr Chiedu Nweke, said that he was not in doubt of his company’s capacity to execute the projects and execute them very well.

Nweke said that his team was ready to give the state the very best housing estate as they had done in other parts of the country. He assured that they would do everything required for the project to be done successfully.

He, however, appealed to the government to ensure that unnecessary bureaucratic bottlenecks were checked.

“I think sometimes bureaucracy is the issue. And for some of us, with the experience we have, whenever we are embarking on this type of thing, we are worried about bureaucracy and the enabling environment. We need an access road there.

“So, I can imagine the circumstances won’t be different. So, we still need the support of the government to manage the access roads, manage the neighbouring projects as well; and most importantly, the title of the project”, Nweke said.

At the signing ceremonies were the MD/CEO of Awka Capital Territory Development Authority (ACTDA), Mr Ossy Onuko; Commissioner for Lands, Prof. Offornze Amucheazu, SAN; and others.