The construction of a 500 unit housing estate has commenced in Gusau, Zamfara State capital. Called Saraha Homes, it is a result of a housing development partnership involving the state government and Saraha Homes Limited. LEADERSHIP’s Omotola Oloruntobi reports.
In partnership with Saraha Homes Limited, a real estate development organisation, the government of Zamfara State has commenced the construction of a five hundred units housing estate in Gusau. The collaboration is based on the framework provided by the public private partnership, a policy that is currently making the rounds in most sectors of the Nigerian economy. The PPP is expected to be a means through which decent and affordable housing is provided for civil servants and low income earners.
Under the arrangement, government concedes lands to reputable organisations that are expected to develop the lands and sell at affordable rates to low income earners.
The reduction in price is expected to arise from the fact that the developer built on conceded land.The number of housing units is the first of that magnitude with a state government under the public private partnership.
Created in 1996 by the administration of General Sani Abacha, Zamfara State is still a developing state.The establishment of Saraha Homes is a response to housing needs foreseen by the state administration. It is an effort of the government to provide decent and affordable housing for people of the state.
The Saraha housing project enjoys the development support of Mosahara Construction Limited, a road construction company which is currently handling the development of the seven kilometre road via Sokoto bye pass to Damba, a major access road which passes through the 500 housing units project.
The 500 units housing provision is the first of its kind in Northern Nigeria. Zamfara project manager, Ismail S. A. told the press that the organisation would repeat the feat in other states of the federation. According to him: “Negotiations have commenced with the governments of Katsina, Kano, Nassarawa, Niger, Kwara and Yobe States to replicate the same model.”
Civil servants who spoke to the press in Gusau described the project as a welcomed development, saying that it was a remarkable success. They further said that it was particularly remarkable for haven overcome the problems of financing - a major barrier hindering real estate development plans in Nigeria.
In ideal settings, mortgage institutions have the professional role of financing housing purchase. The mortgage institutions involved in the Zamfara project are to provide finance needed to build the houses.
An emerging community of homes, Saraha housing estate has the major success of overcoming the problem of land affordability, especially considering the landmass needed to accommodate five hundred homes. Besides this, it promises to overcome the propensity of becoming overcrowded. This is in view of the foresight exercised in its planning: large streets, well spaced buildings, provision for a community market, religious worship centres, schools and health centre among others.
Engineer Ahmed Imam, project engineer of Saraha Homes informed the press that “in building construction, interior and structural values are the basis for the evaluation of project quality.” He added that both quests have been given adequate attention. “The project will have access roads and high quality finishing infrastructures which are already 75 per cent completed”, he said. While stating that “three industrial boreholes are designed to serve 100 houses simultaneously,” he said that “culverts, drainages and coal tars” are issues which are also receiving attention in the on-going construction, adding that “electricity infrastructure is also one of the most important areas we have considered.”
The first phase of the project comprise one hundred housing units of the following category of houses;Two bedroom semi detached, two bedroom fully detached, three bedroom semi detached, three bedroom fully detached and two bedroom one block low income earner homes.