Novare Real Estate Africa, a private investment portfolio involved in property development across Africa is silently revamping business premises in Abuja. Not only that, it is also bringing sophistication to the Abuja retail.
Last June, the real estate firm opened the doors of one of its world class retail facilities in Abuja named Novare Central Mall. The $54 million mall, located in Wuse Zone 5, Abuja follows the one earlier built on the Abuja’s Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport way.
The latest facility which consists of 7,178m2 of retail space on the ground floor, has three floors equipped with an access control basement parking space and state-of-the-art facilities including grade-A offices. This facility is fast attracting traffic in that part of Abuja.
Speaking at the commissioning of the mall, the chairman of Novare Real Estate Africa, Prof. Fabian Ajogwu said the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has provided enabling environment for investments.
Ajogwu who enumerated the benefits of Novare Central Mall to the FCTA disclosed that already 5,000 direct and indirect jobs had been created, in addition to boosting the revenue base of the administration.
For improving the outlook of Abuja cityscape, many have described Novare Real Estate Africa as a game-changer to the retail offering in Abuja and the local economy.
The interesting thing is both workers and those who go shopping in facilities built by Novare Real Estate Africa share very positive experiences. While workers enter their places of work with grandeur, shoppers saunter in with style.
By situating these malls in different parts of Abuja, Novare is giving Abuja residents huge shopping satisfaction. To some of the residents, without Novare malls, there is no shopping in Abuja. Many go to Novare malls because of the air of glitz the malls can offer them. More importantly, these malls are one-stop; offering a wide variety of goods and services in one location so that a customer does not have to go from place to place.
The buildings are constructed with great architectural finesse and much consideration for shoppers’ ease of movement. The structures are not multi-storey like the typical Abuja malls where customers have to climb up many steps to access shops they have need for. Even those shops with elevators continually pose problem because of constant power cut or not well working machines.
Novare Real Estate Africa’s places, electricity supply never cuts even as care is given for customers with disabilities, a thing hardly found in the ordinary Abuja shopping facility.
Novare Real Estate Africa has therefore, contributed significantly in changing the city-space of Abuja. It has as well helped top-notch retail groups like Shoprite that can conveniently secure decent business premises in Abuja. It has done some good to FCTA by the taxes the government takes from the retail giant, Shoprite.
By its retail places in Abuja housing the superb and popular retail line, Shoprite, the construction company is living up to the demands of the world class retail standards.
However, impressive as Novare Real Estate Africa’s work has been, there is yet a huge gap to be filled.
Many of the hawkers that swarm the streets of Abuja hole up in the ubiquitous slums. Even in the main town areas of Asokoro, Garki, Utako, Jabi, and the Central Business District, there are unsightly settlements that harbour children, women and young men who move about with wares, looking for buyers.
The law that founded the city of Abuja forbids hawking. It is therefore troubling that a city planned from its inception will be full of hawkers. Authorities actually frown at this. Continually, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) raids the streets, rounding up hawkers. Yet the menace has refused to die. And then more investors come seeking land to build shopping complexes, resulting in a medley of the beautiful and the ugly.
The best thing to do is to tackle the root of the menace, which is getting rid of the slums in the city. A city well planned should not harbour slums.
Viewpoint Housing News there calls on Novare Real Estate Africa to look beyond building exquisite malls. The initial plan of government was to rid the city of all the original settlements but that effort has failed as development has enveloped them and government can hardly resettle the people.
Novare Real Estate Africa can therefore, help government and the residents of Abuja if it invests in low cost housing as well. It can partner FCTA in this direction by renewing the unplanned settlements in the city. It can do a test of this endeavour by taking one of the settlements and doing some high rise structures there. Through this, the phenomenon of having beautiful malls beclouded by countless hawkers is checked.