The Lagos-based estate surveying and valuation firm of Messrs M. I. Okoro & Associates is partnering with Polaris Bank Limited to facilitate the location of over 2,000 members of the Electric Materials Dealers Association presently in Okija in Port Harcourt to their permanent site at Iriebe, Kilometre 17, Aba-Port Harcourt Road in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Estimated to gulp about N5 billion, the project is being developed by Revelation Paints Limited.
According to Dr Innocent Okoro, Principal Partner at M. I. Okoro & Associates, 600 lock-up shops have been developed out of the total 1,720 shops earmarked for the development, and that business activities would soon commence on the readily available shops while the developer continues to develop more shops in phases to enable the electrical materials dealers to settle down fully for business in the new site which the association has tagged “Promised Land”.
Dr Okoro, who made the disclosure in Lagos on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, while briefing members of the Property & Environment Writers Association of Nigeria (PEWAN), stated that, in addition to the 1,720 lock-up shops being developed, the traders would be provided warehouses where their goods will be stored for easy distribution to their customers, while visiting customers can load and off-load goods within the warehouses and transport them to different parts of the country.
“There will also be restaurants located at various convenient points within the complex so that traders and their customers will find it easy to eat and save time. Apart from a toilet facility in several places, electricity supply in the new complex will be a combination of solar and independent energy supply from private sector driven arrangement,” he said, adding that provisions have been made for banking halls and other offices to support business operations in the Promised Land which were lacking in the present Okija location.
According to him, the 14.3 square metres size shops on the ground and first floors cost N4.5 million and N4 million respectively, which are promotional prices that last up to end of April 2023, after which the prices will be reviewed to higher rates. Subscribers are supposed to make an initial payment f 20% of the cost of the shops and complete the payment within three years.
Polaris Bank is providing mortgage funding arrangement, essentially to support small and medium scale businesses to succeed in the country, and also to empower youths in business to curb youth restiveness and crime rate.
“That is the major reason Polaris Bank Limited partners with M. I. Okoro & Associates to ensure that the movement of Electrical Dealers Association to their permanent site becomes a reality,” Okoro said, adding that the firm, with over 33 years of experience without blemish, specialises in market relocations in the country.
Director General on Strategy and Operations, M. I. Okoro & Associates, Chief Chinedu Mbakwe, said he would liaise with the businessmen for comprehensive reconciliation of the process for easy flow of movement by the traders to their new site and acquisition of shops.
He added that Polaris Bank Limited, Executive of the Electrical Materials Dealers Association, M. I. Okoro & Associates, and Osas & Oseji & Co. would be organising a golf tournament in the Port Harcourt Golf Club as a way of sensitising the investing public to buy into the available lock-up shops.
Additionally, the General Overseer of OPM, Apostle Chibuzor Gift Chineye, will be featuring a one-day crusade by the request of the Executive and members of the Association to sanctify the whole complex before their relocation to the new site.
Speaking on the economic implications of the relocation, Okoro said that the traders’ movement to the site would release the latent value of the land and properties within and outside the immediate environment of the complex, and there would be increase in terms of capital and rental values because the traders’ presence at the will act as a pull on other businesses.
Chairman of PEWAN, Mrs Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie, said that the organisation has partnered several groups in the sector with a primary motive of building and growing the sector, including educating the public as journalists and driving the agenda for policy makers.
Describing Okoro as “a well-rounded estate surveyor and valuer, and an avid golf player”, Iroegbu-Chikezie stated that he chose a segment of the real estate market where “he played the role almost unchallenged, and I believe even now, very few will dare to challenge him in that sector”.
She added: “We are aware that his firm marketed the Trade Fair market, Tejuoso market, and some went into direct construction of buildings.”