Bridging the Housing Gap in Nigeria | THIS DAY LIVE
Precious Ugwuzor reports that with the housing deficit worsening, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation’s recent foray into real estate has seen the company unveil its luxurious 21-story apartment tower in Ikoyi to the delight of the government of Lagos State, which has also commissioned the construction giant to partner with the state to expand into social housing
“As you do in the upscale area, we will also secure land for you, so you can meet other spectrums of middle and low income needs. ‘Ikoyi that you should build, but for the people of Alimosho, Agege, Ikorodu and all other places.
“We know the population of Lagos is growing and we cannot provide all the facilities alone as a government, we have to partner with China and rely on your technology.”
The above statement was recently made by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu during the unveiling of a 21 storey luxury apartment tower at Alexander Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Promoted by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), the building named Grand Panorama, upon completion, is expected to feature 75 high-end residential apartment units, 21 floors above ground level, one floor underground, 153 spaces of parking, 36 two-bedroom sets, 38 three-bedroom sets and one four-bedroom set.
According to information made available to THISDAY, the tower will occupy an area of 5,000 square meters with a total construction area of 22,356 square meters. This will house facilities such as meeting rooms, a squash court, gymnasium, underground garage and of course a swimming pool.
During the inauguration and foundation laying ceremony, Governor Sanwo-Olu, who was accompanied by his deputy, Dr. Femi Hamzat, emphasized the synergy and cooperation between Nigerians and the CCECC group in the development of the state, particularly in the provision of quality infrastructure to international standards.
Addressing the crowd, including the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos, Chum Maoming; President, CCECC, Jiang Yigao; CCECC Real Estate Company Limited Managing Director Jimmy Zhong, the Governor said, “We are here to show solidarity and support with you on this project. As a government, we have ordered and handed over houses to the people of Lagos. So when we see those doing the same thing in Lagos, we support them.
“We believe this will not be an abandoned project. I learned that the project will be finished in two years.
“When we see partners like CCECC trying to improve the housing needs of our citizens, the least we can do is encourage them, support them and believe that this will further deepen the partnership between Nigeria and the Republic of China.”
Insisting on the structural integrity of the building, Sanwo-Olu said he believed it would not be compromised.
While commending the company’s management for the decision to establish its presence in Lagos, he also urged them to build for low-income people, adding that his government would look for land to build houses for low-income people. returned to places like Alimosho and Moushin.
Also speaking, Maoming, who congratulated the construction company on the milestone, noted that the Chinese government is ready to include Nigeria in its $10 billion credit facility.
He said, “Lagos State is not just your home but the homes of the local Chinese community in Nigeria. I commend CCECC for planning to build these apartments. At the eighth ministerial meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in Dakar, Senegal, I said that over the next three years, Chinese companies will invest $10 billion in Africa.
“China will provide credit facilities to every financial institution over the next three years. China is ready to channel its resources to African countries and Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Zhong promised that the company would focus on quality in the real estate sector, adding that “we have arrangements to employ Lagos workers during construction activities. The qualified foreman and project manager will be Chinese to ensure quality, but all other workers and technicians will be locals in Lagos.”
Explaining that Grand Panorama was just an extension of the construction company’s real estate investment arm, Zhong revealed that the company had already started housing development in the Lekki area along the Lekki-Epe highway which is already completed and fully occupied.
Stressing that the development in Ikoyi was the company’s effort to do more in housing, he also noted that the challenge issued by the governor was well accepted as it will provide the company with an opportunity to further expand its tentacles.
He said: “You can see that we are not a holding company that comes in and out of Nigeria. We have invested in facilities that endure and would do more in the years to come.
“When it comes to the quality of the multi-storey Grand Panorama, we are committed to giving it the best quality and finish. We would use our best engineers in construction and deploy Nigerian workers as part of our efforts to create employment opportunities for the Nigerian people who are our ongoing partners.