Asokoro Island

Asokoro Island News

June 12, 2015
by Wilson Iheanacho
0 comments

NAHCO Pays Dividend of N295 Million for Year 2014

Left, Mrs. Folasade Ode, Company Secretary; Mallam Suleiman Yahyah, Chairman; and Mr. Norbert Bielderman, all of Nahco Aviance, during the 34th Annual General Meeting

Left, Mrs. Folasade Ode, Company Secretary; Mallam Suleiman Yahyah, Chairman; and Mr. Norbert Bielderman, all of Nahco Aviance, during the 34th Annual General Meeting

The shareholders of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO Aviance) have approved a total dividend of N295 million to be paid to its over 74,000 shareholders for the year ended 31st December, 2014.
NAHCO Aviance also paid a Bonus of 1 share for every 10 shares held giving a gross monetized yield of 150% increase to shareholders
The approval was given at the company’s 34th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held Thursday June 11, 2015 in Abuja.
The shareholders received the audited financial statement for the year ended 2014 along with the reports of Directors , Auditors and audit committee which indicated a prof before tax of N769 million and a profit after tax of N568 million
NAHCO which is incorporated as a limited liability company in 1979 has 75% public ownership and offers business services to more than 30 airline at seven airports across the country
The chairman of NAHCO, Mr Suleiman Yahyah in his remark at the AGM said: “the company has grown from a very small handler to the largest ground handler in sub-Sahara Africa. we recorded marginal increase in turnover from N8.09 to N8.133 billion in 2014
“Total flight inward and outward handled by NAHCO increased by 12% from 31,000 to 34,000 in spite of the 149 flight cancellation”
He added that in consideration of the companies plan to continue investment in its diversification programme, the free trade zone and the agri-zone business, the board recommended a gross dividend of 20 kobo on every ordinary share for every 10 shares held
Mr Suleiman said: “in aggregate and yield terms, the board proposal represents a monetized increase of 150% return on shareholder investment compared to 2013”
Shareholders at the AGM called on the management to cut down on expense to improve the profit margin of the company. They also decried th amount of unclaimed dividend which stands at N353 million
Suleiman Yahyah is also the chairman of Rosehill Group and Asokoro Island Limited.

June 8, 2015
by Wilson Iheanacho
0 comments

INTERVIEW: ‘HOW TO REVIVE THE NIGERIAN ECONOMY’

Mallam Suleiman Yahyah

Mallam Suleiman Yahyah

Malam Suleiman Yahyah, a Cambridge University trained economist, currently chairs the boards of AshakaCem Plc, NAHCO Aviance Plc, The Rosehill Group and Asokoro Island Holdings P lc. He is also a director of several corporate organisations. In this interview, Mr. Yahyah speaks on how to revive the Nigerian economy, and how the companies which he heads are faring. He says Nigeria must enlarge its tax base and simultaneously cut the tax rate to remain competitive.

AshakaCem which you chair held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) recently and you said that electricity has been a challenge. How does that affect profitability, productivity and price of cement in the market?

Electricity impacts us in a significant way. Let me give you an example. Last year, the price of electricity was about N24 per Kilo watt to industries, including AshakaCem. Suddenly, without negotiations Discos increased it to N36 per unit. Every N1 increase impacts negatively on us by N60 million per month!
So, you can imagine how N12 increase will hurt us. AshakaCem requires 22megawatts per day to run efficiently. This is a company that is operating in an insurgency ravaged North East. This is a company that has been challenged by its history and environment. This is a company that was attacked twice by insurgents. These attacks cost us N2.5 billion and we are still counting the losses from that attack. So if you add the electricity cost in billions then you will appreciate the impact on our profitability, our sustainability and on the price of cement to the consumers and why it impedes our progress.

But one of your competitors reduced its price…

Yes they did reduce prices but quickly reversed to status quo because it was not sustainable. We are at different levels of capital expenditures- renewing our plants, building new plants and renewing our production capabilities, and don’t enjoy the same level of waivers others do. We need sustainable policies to achieve long-term development. The price of cement is greatly impacted by energy cost and distribution cost. So, the problem is not at the production side but on the transportation and distribution side. A trailer cost (transportation) from Lagos to Abuja is almost as expensive as the cost of the cement it will carry! Shipping a container from China to Lagos will cost you 60percent less than transporting it from Lagos to Abuja! That is to tell you how difficult it is to operate and succeed in Nigeria. If we have a railway infrastructure, the price of cement will be low.

AshakaCem used to be the star of the North. What has gone wrong?

No, I don’t agree. We are still the Northern star up till now. We are the largest employer of labour in the entire Northeast. We have over 700 people in employment. There is no company in those six north eastern states that is comparable to AshakaCem. Ninety eight per cent of the businesses that you know in the north east have collapsed and wiped off- Ashaka by the special grace of God and the ingenuity of its managers is still standing. That yes, our contribution to the Nigerian cement economy has shrunk from about 45 percentage. The 1980s to only 4 percent now is as a result of not only ferocious competition but because of historical problems the company had had and its inability to respond to opportunities in the past by not expanding its capacity. Sadly AshakaCem is still operating at its name plate commissioned capacity of 1million metric tons for 40 years. This you will agree is lethargic. That is why Lafarge-AshakaCem last year embarked on a massive expansion of capacity that will hit 4.5 million metric tons by 2018. Ashaka will then employ more than 1500 Nigerians and create and add more than N180 billion in wealth every year to Nigeria. The foundation stone for that expansion was laid last year by the President. It will Include: An embedded power plant of 64 megawatts that will use our abundant coal reserves, and achieve 95percent coal substitution in our energy mix.
Ashaka will be producing roughly 4.5 million metric tons in 2018 but don’t forget that this noble target had been punctured and temporarily delayed by the two insurgency attacks of November and December 2014.We were about moving large number men and materials to our plant sites when the insurgents attacked us. We were forced to delay the expansion programme because we do not understand the intentions of the attackers and we are not able to plan for the large number of people that will be in Gombe State . We needed full security first to restore confidence.
Am happy to say that security is getting better now thanks to the Nigerian Army, civil defense, The police and NSA and the leadership of the Marshal Badeh who moved swiftly and decisively to secure our people and the investments. We will soon revisit our timelines and go on with the expansion.

NAHCO Aviance is one of the companies that you chair. What are your expansion plans?

Yes, we are doing relatively well. NAHCO was the most complex turnaround that I and my team have been engaged in the last six years because of culture-the culture of corruption; significantly decayed infrastructure, and manpower challenge. There was no expansion of Nigerian airports since the 1970s. Our airports were designed to handle 3million passengers nationwide. Now we have 17 million people flying in and out Nigeria on literary same infrastructure. So It’s right to say Nigerian government is a poor manager of business.
Our airports experience has been very complicated, amongst the worst worldwide. Travellers including our staff have collapsed and died for all kinds of challenges in our airports. We recently had to donate defibrillators to rescue heart failures. Our airport charges are amongst the highest in the world- another paradox Nigerians pay more for the lowest quality of service to the government (the airport owners and managers). It was against this difficult background that we operate and yet were able to transform our business , realigned our business and realign our operations to achieve what you have seen. We won several corporate governance awards, industry excellence awards etc as Nahco grew over 400 percent in less than seven years.
We are succeeding we have just been granted a free trade zone licence-the first free trade zone that will happen in any airport in Africa- So, we will run a new platform which will be called the NAHCO FTZ – Free Trade Zone.
We are also establishing businesses in Senegal, Ivory Coast and other African countries to further de risk the business under our Africanization program launched two years ago.

At what level is the project now?

The project is at the critical implementation stage. We are at the point of execution.
The aviation sector is a quick win for Nigeria’s diversification strategy and jobs creation. Let me assure you that as soon as we see clarity in policies and governance improvement, we shall rally massive international investment in the aviation industry.

How far have you gone with the Asokoro Island Limited (AIL)?

Asokoro Island projects is an international collaboration of Nigerian, Spanish, French and American investment that will certainly change the global conversation about Abuja, and that of Nigeria- that we have class and talents and are ready to invest in our country. We felt challenged that instead of Nigerians investing in properties in places like Dubai or even, Australia, seeking both returns and safe escape for capital. It will reduce the huge capital flight on offshore property investment which is running over $10billion annually. We have apartments that are affordable .

The business environment in Nigeria last year was unfavourable to many investors. How did you manage to survive it?

Of recent doing business in Nigeria has been extremely difficult. The energy crises, we are relying on generators eighty percent, the increasing level of low quality managers- good people with talents are migrating or not returning, the huge macro-economic shock devaluation, insurgency and the conversation about the huge corruption going on makes it very difficult to do business last year. Nigeria was just fighting itself and destroying business platforms and confidence.
Our overall performance is that of relative success! we can do much much better if the conditions I listed can be reversed because our business mantra is driven by high level of corporate governance and ethics. We have to hire experts and best talents every time to just remain competitive. We are focused on value creation and those businesses that have flexibility and capability to deliver services to our customers. So, what we do is that we deliver customer values first , then employee values and then shareholder value in that order. When you combine these three, you will be successful wherever you operate, anywhere in the world.
The exception is what we economists call externality, by which we mean the quality of public sector governance, effectiveness of Regulation and Security and these outside our control! That’s why our trajectory is rough and bumpy. The whole graph is not a smooth rising graph. It is a fluctuating graph but when you measure it in time you see that it is a rising graph hiding the imperfections in our journey thus far. We are successful because you just see the final output but we have series of significant challenges but we have been able to ride through the challenges or by re-strategize and moving on. Excellence is process of continuous trial seeking perfection.

Some businessmen believe that if you don’t cut corners in Nigeria you cannot succeed. What is your take on this?

Certainly not! If you cut corners, you fail because cutting corners is like digging a ditch and one day you will fall in the ditch. It depends on how much corners you cut- that is how hard you fail. We believe in our God given talent and our expertise. We believe in the golden transparency rule that if you cannot say and celebrate publicly it because it will be embarrassing then do don’t do it; We believe in best practices and good governance and fight for it, we hate un just practices. We believe in obeying the rules and the laws of any country we want to do business.
We believe that the ultimate reason why we are in business is to make legitimate profits and we will remain sustainable only if we are socially responsible.

How has the devaluation of the naira affected the Nigerian economy?

Devaluation is worse than inflation. It reduces consumption which reduces production and ultimately reduces output. It is also inflationary.
It destroyed values and valuations. Devaluation reduces our capacity to make investments and renew our businesses. It reduces consumers’ ability to make choices. So, devaluation is a harmful poison to the Nigerian economy. It was the most painful impact last year that wiped out the gains that were achieved in the last four years. We are now poorer by 30 or 40 percent relative to rest of world.

Do you see Nigeria getting out of this in the next few months?

Yes. Change is here! Am optimistic but it’s going to be a robust journey and must be well thought out and modelled. Difficult choices must be made.
And I think oil prices have slightly rebounded which will help. You remember that the crude oil price collapse was the announced reason for the devaluation-I don’t believe that’s the only and main reasons; but it was a good excuse for inferior strategy.
I think other reason for the devaluation was the grand conversation about the mismanagement of the fiscal surplus accumulated by Nigeria started by the former CBN governor and the wrong application of monetary tools and weakness in the financial system and what some people say square pegs in round holes masquerading as global experts handling the Nigerian economy.
The result will of course be the devaluation of the Naira which was like an escape route. So, if you ask me whether we have seen the worst, I’m not sure as we still very prone to more mistakes and policy errors and the data doesn’t provide any comfort.Let’s look at the data. Corporate profits all over have shrunk. Strong corporates in most sectors have nearly 50 per cent reduction in profits in the first quarter of 2015 that means low output and eventually low taxes and employment and aggregate demand. If you look at the federal revenue data, you see continuous weakness and wasteful expenditure even in the approved 2015 budget and very tiny investment and the actors are calling for belt tightening .If you look at the interest rates, they are still very high and a big bubble. Our public sector borrowing and the compounding of the double digit interest rate has created over $60 billion dollars .public debt .and much more has not been recorded and announced – the correct figure will be around $150billion if you dig deeply in the ministries and aggregate their committed contractual liabilities- that’s over 35 percent of the country’s wealth-So the answer to the question is we must get out fast and quickly.
We pray that when the new administration comes in we will begin to see major re-alignments in both the fiscal space to launch an interventionist fiscal strategy backed by a massive fiscal stimulus package ,easing of credits and re writing our financial system strategy and reinventing the monetary policy framework that will give confidence to the Nigerian capital market in the first instance, the money market and the international financial and monetary system that Nigeria is not only ready for business but it’s the bride of Africa! Government should intervene and must intervene massively. Without a stimulus package, we will continue to diminish Nigeria’s ability to rise responsibly because there is no strength in our disposable income to support consumption, production and live normal lives.

Some of the issues you raised may affect the new government; what advice do you have for them?

It is a very difficult task for a new government . The first advice is to avoid the austerity trap. Secondly, the government should rewrite our monetary and fiscal policies. Third, there should be a deliberate strategy for expanding, renewing and developing infrastructure. That is what I call the stimulus package.
They should focus on massive government interventions in several billions of dollars with focus on infrastructure, welfare and strengthening of markets. They should re-align domestic economic policies in favor of the local domestic economy and in favor of Nigerians- align and respond to global trend in such a way that Nigeria is repositioned to play an active role, not only in domestic space but also competing. Domestic Energy prices have gone up and just don’t make any sense to produce in Nigeria if energy prices are not moderated it would result in another round of deindustrialization. Interest rates are very high. Nigeria is not the cost of doing business is very high. There is no incentive for business. The quality of regulation is very weak- Our tax system has become decayed and needs a lot of revision of the tax code to make it simple and clear. You also need to create a social welfare strategy for the Nigerian people in dire need for both our sustainability and for enlightened self interest of all of us, as our size matters and it only matters to business if there’s large enough effective aggregate demand for goods and services. That’s why the business community is happy that change is coming and we hope that the change will be fair change for everyone.

The relationship between the private and public sectors has not been smooth of recent. Waivers given recently ended in a mess. In what ways do you think this relationship can be enhanced?

Let me start with waivers. These are market constraints and create huge imperfections and a source of corruption. Waivers do not help transparency and productivity so it is not good for the country.
It complicates our competitiveness and creates a class that’s favored versus the rest. It creates bias and a lack of clarity in taxation. I’m not in favour of waivers.
Rather, we will like to have a simple tax code that is also lower.
Nigeria has to remain competitive. Where there’s a special constraint or some kind of market failure like the north east or in power give incentive for trade and investments.
Remember, Singapore has a tax rate that does not exceed 25 percent.
Tax collection is almost 100percent. We have such a high tax rate that’s cumulatively nearing 48 percent and yet less than 20percent is collected. So, the challenge and paradox of taxation is not the tax rate, but the tax base and at our rate of development, taxation should be a tool to attract investment and capital formation. We have over 1 million registered businesses in Nigeria, how many of them are paying taxes?
In fact, if you are to have a minimum tax rate based on share capital only majority of the businesses registered without considering operating turnover, government can generate more than three trillion naira in taxes today.
This is achieved only by enlarging the tax base and paying minimum tax rate therefore it’s only logical that by reducing the tax rate and enlarging the base governments will garner more taxes that’s why am an advocate!
As Nigeria swiftly restructures and reform its taxation, emphasis must be placed on lowering the tax rate. So, the first challenge of government is to decide. If you lower the tax rate for a number of years businesses to increase investment, output, employment and enhance our international competitiveness and efficiency so that we can increase the creations of Nigerian champions. We have only a few champions.
We need to create a framework where business champions will emerge out of this country so that we can justify our number one status in the continent. Government strategy must help to ensure that more businesses are created. The surest solution for new jobs is for more businesses to be created. To create more businesses, you must make the conditions right for businesses to invest with ease from retained earnings.

May 24, 2015
by Wilson Iheanacho
0 comments

Aviation: NAHCO, Egypt Strengthen Business Ties

The Chairman, Nahco Aviance and His Excellency Ashraf Salama, The Ambassador of Egypt to Nigeria.

The Chairman, Nahco Aviance and His Excellency Ashraf Salama, The Ambassador of Egypt to Nigeria.

The Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO Aviance) Plc and Egypt have expressed their willingness to strengthen their business relationship, a statement from NAHCO Plc said.
The statement said the fresh zeal to grow the relationship was echoed during a visit of the NAHCO’s chairman Suleiman Yahyah to the Egyptian Embassy in Abuja last week.
During the visit, Mr. Yahyah said there was an urgent need to up the business ties between Nigerian investors and those from Egypt, while making reference to the current effort between Nigeria and Kenya.
He said NAHCO is desirous of facilitating a Round Table talks for investors from both countries, expressing optimism that such talks may lead to fresh bilateral agreements.
In his response, Egyptian Ambassador to Nigeria Ashraf Salama commended NAHCO for its efforts towards reviving business relations between the two peoples.
He said such efforts would help the two countries grow their business relationship, adding that currently Egypt Air does a minimum of 16 flights per week to Nigeria
Ambassador Salama added that he would also want the relationship to consider the agriculture and the health sector.
Speaking at the meeting also, Managing Director of NAHCO Nobert Bielderman said the aviation company is a member of the British-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and does a lot of exports based on that relationship and would like this sort of relationship to be extended to Egypt.
NAHCO provides a comprehensive handling of the ground operations for Egypt Air in Nigeria.

 

May 20, 2015
by Wilson Iheanacho
0 comments

As AshakaCem Strategizes

AshakaCem Strategizes with the ratification of new Board Chairman, the AshakaCem is embarking on an ambitious plan to retake its place in the Nigerian market

As AshakaCem Strategizes with the ratification of new Board Chairman, the AshakaCem is embarking on an ambitious plan to retake its place in the Nigerian market.

The 40th AGM of Tuesday May 5, 2015 at Transcorp Hilton Abuja, perhaps may be the spark as the company and its shareholders literally rolled out its strategies.
Though like any other Annual General Meeting, the latest could as well pass as AGM that gave approvals to the Board and the management to explore all lawful possibilities to ensure that the AshakaCem-quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)-ups its growth exponentially in the cement sub sector.
Industry observers say, with a plan of a staggering four million metric tons in the pipeline, AshakaCem indeed could as well be securing its future market equity while meeting its customers need for quality at the same time.
The average annual total cement consumption in Nigeria is around 20million metric tons.
Giving approval to its recent result, shareholders of the company say they were impressed that the company was able to post profit and pay dividend despite the spate of insurgency in the region.
At the AGM, chairman of the Trusted Shareholder Association of Nigeria Mukhtar Mukhtar commended Board and management for maintaining what he described as ‘a lean board.’
National Coordinator of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria Sunny Nwosu also commended the Board and Management over the company’s income despite the security challenges and other setbacks in the economy.
The company located in the North East of Nigeria had been attacked by insurgents suspected to be members of the Boko Haram. This perhaps explains the loss of N2.5billion on its facilities towards the end of last year.
The chairman said: “Two insurgency attacks suffered by the company in November and December 2014 greatly affected the operation of the company and up and until now nobody knows the intention of the attackers.”
He however said the Federal Government has designated the company as a National Strategic Asset with about 400 security personnel providing security to prevent another attack.
Mr Yahyah said the company will work with the incoming General Muhammadu Buhari’s government to rebuild the battered region.
The company just announced a 45k dividend per share. This is an increase of 7.1 per cent over the previous year’s dividend payout. It also posted a modest N4.5billion profit.
The chairman Alhaji Suleiman Yahyah announced that the company is about to witnessed a massive expansion drive that will see it churning out a whooping four million metric tons of cement annually.
Feelers from AshakaCem revealed that the new expansion drive may gulp a billion US dollars($1billion).
With an income of N5billion in 2014 compared to N2.6billion in 2013, the company is embarking on an ambitious expansion drive, the AGM report said.
As part of the innovative drive for a reliable power source, the company is also planning a captive coal fired power plant of 64 megawatts .The new plants will be commissioned in 2018.
The Board of Directors had on March 12, 2015 appointed Suleiman Yahyah as its chairman. This was sequel to the resignation of his predecessor, Alhaji Umaru Kwairanga.
Mr. Yahyah a First Class Economic Graduate is also the chairman of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), Asokoro Island Limited (AIL) and Rosehill Group.
AshakaCem is a subsidiary of the Lafarge Africa Plc. With a capacity of over 400million metric tons per annum, Lafarge is now adjudged to be the world’s biggest cement manufacturer.
AshakaCem Plc is not only into the business of making cement, it is also touching the lives of the people in Gombe State and Nigeria in general.
In its 65-page Social Responsibility report, AshakaCem said it has expended millions of naira in the provision of schools, water, health facilities, electricity, roads network and as well supported the various communities by sharpening their business skills.
While shareholders smile with the proposed dividend, they also expressed optimism that the new board under the leadership of Mr. Yahyah will grow the company’s income with an improved return to shareholders.
Yahyah also promised to realign the company’s social responsibility strategy and community engagement to bring it in line with LAFARGE’s global standard.
The issue of staff remuneration is also being looked into with a planned increase currently under negotiation.

 

October 2, 2014
by Asokoro
0 comments

Asokoro Island: Abuja’s new, exclusive destination for luxury living

September 30, 2014 | Filed under: Real Estate | Author: Chuka Uroko

After three years of careful, intensive and extensive preliminary works involving the design of its master-plan, Asokoro Island Limited unveils what is unarguably Abuja’s novel and exclusive destination offering uncommon opportunities for luxury living, business and leisure.

Known as Asokoro Island, this 21st Century city that derives its name from the accident of its location is nestled immediately beneath Aso Rock and surrounded by the shores of the Pendam Lake which gives it bespoke natural ambience with a lush green façade.

Consistent with modern city development, Asokoro Island incorporates residential, commercial and leisure facilities that satiate hunger for quality living and desire for business and relaxation in a secure, serene, clean, eco-friendly, energy efficient and sustainable environment.

Suleiman Yahyah, the chairman of Asokoro Island Limited, explained to a select group of journalists in Abuja that “from the original vision, we seek to position Asokoro Island as a unique integrated development that will feature its eco-friendly credentials ideal for private, business, diplomatic residence and for work, play and leisure”, adding that the island, which has Julian Zapata, a leading Spanish Architect, as Project Manager, is a new way of living in the present while looking at the future.

At its residential section, the Island which sits on approximately 60 hectares of land with an estimated cost of $1 billion, comprises different house-typologies such as apartments and villas, and according to Yahyah, each of the five apartment buildings is designed with fresh and elegant architectural style. They benefit from private balconies, mezzanines and floor-to-ceiling windows, beautifully appointed to allow for the most spectacular views of the Pendam Marina, while each block has its own swimming pool and sun terrace.

The Island presents 40 individually designed luxury villas ranging from duplex houses to sprawling three-storey residences, each featuring bespoke architectural details that meet the unique needs and desires of its prospective occupants. They comprise golf view villas, royal villas which are facing the lake; presidential villas which are like presidential suites, and diplomatic villas for ambassadors.

The commercial and work section presents hotels, offices, shopping malls, business and primary schools. “Abuja was planned to provide commercial buildings only at the central business districts and so many residential buildings are being converted to commercial buildings. Here, we are planning purpose-built commercial buildings beside residential buildings to provide flexibility of living”, Yahyah said, disclosing that their plan is to provide 150,000 office spaces of international standard.

Apart from the six-star hotel planned for the Island, he said that they would also be providing four-star and five-star hotels, explaining that whereas the four-star would offer 250 rooms, the five-star would offer 100 rooms with conference facility for 500 people.

For leisure and relaxation in the Island, provision has been made for a 9-hole golf course, a theatre and a museum which would provide information on Nigeria’s cultural diversity. “Asokoro Island is designed to offer extensive leisure opportunities, from a lush 9-hole golf course surrounded by tropical flora to the picturesque marina on Pendam Lake. Nature enthusiasts will delight in its botanical garden, while those in need of retail therapy can enjoy the elite brands and boutiques of its mall. Children are well-catered for too, with a water-park, interactive zoo and an aquarium offering thrilling family fun and a multi-screen cinema showing all the latest blockbuster movies”, Yahyah assured.

Because of its complex structure, the Island would be delivered in four phases that will run through six years. The first phase estimated to cost $250 million is expected to be delivered in 18-24 months. It involves the building of the bridge which will be one of the access routes to the Island, the apartments and the basic infrastructure such as power, water, sewage plant etc.

A major highlight of this development, which infrastructure will be handled by Dantata and Sawoe, is the massive direct and indirect jobs it will generate from the construction stage to the services to be provided by the hotels, restaurants, malls among others. The chairman estimated that, cumulatively, about 10,000 jobs would be provided with over 3,000 living and working in the Island.

He disclosed that funding for the project was a combination of equity and debt, pointing out that interests in the project have been received from private equity investors and foreign institutional investors. “In the first phase of the project, we have 180 units of apartments and so far we have got about 25 percent off-takers who have made commitments even before the pre-launch that will happen in few days”, he enthused.

“We are confident that the wheel will not be reversed on this project; we are moving forward; the investment is good for Abuja and also good for Nigeria. What we are doing is in line with the transformation agenda of the federal government and, as democracy continues to get stronger, we are hopeful that all those yester-years activities that were negatively disruptive will not happen again”, he emphasized.

Chuka Uroko

Asoko Island Pix

October 2, 2014
by Asokoro
0 comments

Asokoro Island’s $1 billion project broaches new housing deal in Abuja

• Monday, 29 September 2014 00:00
• Written by Chinedum Uwaegbulam
• Category: Property
A COMPREHENSIVE new initiative unveiled last week to provide luxury lifestyle destination and eco- friendly private residential development in Abuja’s most stunning natural environment, is promising an ambitious new deal for a fresh town project within the Asokoro area in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The scope of scheme is massive and breathtaking, as it anticipated over 10,000 people in the proposed new city named Asokoro Island, estimated to gulp $1 billion by the completion. About 3, 500 families are expected in the private sector led development promoted by Nigerian investors, including institutional investors with some international partners.
The Island is approximately 60 hectares of land. Pendam Dam and Aso Rock bound the site to the North, the Asokoro A1 and Ajayi Crowther Street to the West, the A234 Murtala Mohammed Highway South and Abacha Barracks to the Southeast.
Senior officials of the company, disclosed that the project has received the active support and approvals of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, under President Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda, designed to attract significant investment into the FCT by the private sector to develop tourism and to preserve the city’s ecology and our culture.
Designed by a leading Spanish Architect and Project Manager, Julian Zapata, the project seeks to position Asokoro Island as a unique integrated development that will feature its eco-friendly credentials ideal for private, business, diplomatic residence and for work, play and leisure.
The scheme offers special facilities that will cater adequately to potential residents, elite neighbouring community as well as local and international visitors. “The concept design for Asokoro Island will guarantee best results for coordination, management and execution, thanks to her location and a team of local and international experts who have created a new and different concept for Nigeria.
Asokoro Island is a new way of living in the present while looking at the future,” according to Zapata.
Asokoro Island will be built in three phases, with infrastructure development by Dantata and Sawoe. Construction work is expected to commence in October and a golf tournament has been sponsored by Asokoro Island to mark the 54th Independence Day celebration, which is aimed at attracting potential clients for off-plan sales.
Essentially, the Island will boast of special villas, Diplomatic apartments, luxury shops, hotels, food courts, golf course, museum and Theatre, Spas and condominiums, amongst others. The apartments benefit from private balconies, mezzanines and floor-to-ceiling windows, beautifully appointed to allow for the most spectacular views of the Pendam Marina, while each block boasts its own swimming pool and sun terrace. Skillfully crafted by internationally acclaimed architects, the apartments offer exceptional attention to detail – from layouts that maximise light and space to exquisite natural finishes and high-quality appliances.
The Chairman, Asokoro Island, Suleiman Yahyah revealed that “the six-star boutique hotel and spa promises unsurpassed amenities of luxury accommodation
and features outstanding levels of service, presidential suites and a private VIP entrance. The neighbouring five-star business hotel also incorporates facilities of the highest standard, including a fitness centre, outdoor swimming pools, restaurants and bars.”
Yahyah who further disclosed that 36 off-takers have indicated interest in the project, noted that the Studio Design at Harrods, a renowned interiors and luxury good store will deliver ready to move in palatial luxury apartments and villas to discerning investors.
“The creation of Asokoro Island will firmly establish the district’s reputation as a world-class lifestyle destination. This unique 570,000 square metres site brings together unparalleled recreational facilities, luxury shops, boutiques, a business school and primary school, and a cutting-edge commercial centre that will only add to Asokoro’s prestige. With a gated private residential development, Asokoro Island offers the promise of luxurious living in a secured environment to discerning local and international home owners.”
Yahyah said: “The island is designed to offer extensive leisure opportunities, from a lush nine-hole golf course surrounded by tropical flora to the picturesque marina on Pendam Lake. Nature enthusiasts will delight in the island’s botanical garden, while those in need of retail therapy can enjoy the elite brands and boutiques of Asokoro Island Mall. Children are well-catered for too, with a waterpark, interactive
zoo and an aquarium amongst others, offering thrilling family fun, and a multi-screen cinema showing all the latest blockbuster movies.
“Ranging from duplex houses to sprawling three-storey residences, each development features bespoke architectural details meeting the unique needs and desires of its occupants. Thoughtfully designed to offer maximum seclusion and privacy, the villas nevertheless invite the outside in, with breathtaking glass façades, open terraces and indoor gardens conspiring to make the most of the stunning natural environment.
“As the jewel of the development, the Presidential Villa exudes elegance and offers the pinnacle of luxury African living. Combining extensive living space with guest and staff accommodation, this breathtaking villa boasts its own landscaped gardens, two infinity pools, and a spacious outdoor dining terrace.
Asokoro Island

October 2, 2014
by Asokoro
0 comments

Promoters begin work on N114bn Asokoro Island

Category: News
Published on Monday, 29 September 2014 05:00
Written by Yunus Abdulhamid
Hits: 234

Work will begin in earnest on the $900m (N144bn) Asokoro Island in October, chairman and lead promoter of the Asokoro Island Ltd, Suleiman Yahyah, has said.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Yahyah, who is the board chairman of NAHCO Aviance Plc, said the project when completed would take the pressure off the Abuja city center and provide top class business and residential as well as recreational facility. The project is a private sector-led initiative with the support of the FCT administration, he said. “Already, a contract to build the ground infrastructure such as roads, sewage etc. on the Island has been awarded to Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company and actual work begins in earnest in October,” Yayah explained. The project is being promoted by individual and institutional investors with more than 35 off-takers.

The project which will be in four phases will be completed in six years. “There will be a 9 holes gulf course which will take a good portion of the facility. There will be theatres, shopping malls, six star hotels, commercial centers tied to residential apartments starting from one bed room studios to villas tied,” said Yahyah. The first phase will involve the building of bridges, roads, food court, and residential apartment for people to move in and will cost $250m. It will be completed in 24 months.

“Hotels, offices and shopping malls will be built in the second phase while the third phase will have villas and pent houses. Overall, the entire project will provide job opportunity for an estimated 5, 000 people,” he explained.

Yahyah is upbeat that a Museum which is a part of the project will provide the much needed space to become a home for Nigeria’s historical artifacts in the capital city, attract tourists and revenue earner for the country.

The 60 hectares of land project is bounded by the Pendam Dam and Aso Rock to the north and the Abacha Barracks to the South East.

“We are determined to push this project in spite of the insurgency. It will take the steam off the money going out of Nigeria for investment. We believe charity must begin at home,” Yahyah said.

The Asokoro Island master plan was designed by Spanish architects.