RIVTAF Golf Estate: Untouched by Economic Slow Down


The multi-unit high-profile RIVTAF Golf Estate in Port Harcourt, being developed through a public private partnership, has waxed stronger despite the nation’s trying economic environment. The Chief Executive Officer of RIVTAF, Mr. Mustapha Njie credits his project’s success to a simple model with easy funding arrangement, and a good face-to-face interaction with all parties, Bennett Oghifo writes

The RIVTAF Golf Estate development has the backing of both the previous and present administrations in Rivers State, which is one of the reasons it has a great boost on investors’ confidence. Construction work is going as scheduled and some investors have put most their homes in the secondary market while others are in the tertiary market.

“Everything is going on just fine,” said the developer, Mr. Mustapha Njie. “Governor Wike has seen the project and he is impressed. We were not the only ones the government gave land for housing development but we are the only ones still working.”

Besides, the implementation of the partnership is very transparent, considering the caliber of people on the board like the Commissioner of Lands, Attorney General and Commissioner of Finance.

What is on ground…
The development of the huge city-estate has a land area of 25 hectres and is being built in two phases; the first phase is done and the second would be ready by July, said the Regional Manager, TAF Africa Homes, Mr. Assan Sosseh.
The second phase has a total of 250 units, comprising Terraces and Duplexes. There are 110 completed units and the first batch of residents has already moved in.

There will be a 9-hole golf course at the rear of the estate close to a slow-moving natural river. Other amenities include; man-made beach with bush-bars, club house, creche, sports/recreation area (tennis court/soccer etc)
The first phase has 700 units, a mixture of apartments, terraces and duplexes. It is 95% completed with the full completion expected next month.

Regardless, it is 97% sold out and 250 residents have moved in. To retain the beautiful ambiance of the estate, the residents have formed an association with a board of trustees (BOT) and management committee and have taken over the management of the estate. They are finalising a contract with a renowned facilities management company to manage the estate on their behalf, Sosseh said.

The clubhouse in the first Phase is well underway and will be completed in June. There will be a restaurant, bar, gym, pool, events area, office, among others.

The Estate has other facilities like: centrally supplied 24-hour electricity from PHED and standby generator (no individual gens allowed).
There is also centrally supplied water throughout the estate with central sewage management and water treatment station. Security is provided by a mixture of armed and unarmed security with electric fence around the perimeter of the estate.
Residents have efficient garbage collection service, lawn and cleaning service, car wash station, among others.
The main entrance road, connecting from newly commissioned Woji Bridge, is 90% completed and will be operational by June.

Shopping Mall…
Residents of the estate need not go far to shop as there will be a 140-shop modern mall located on the outer fence of the estate. The mall’s construction will begin in May and will be completed by January 2017. “Shops are available for outright purchase and 47% have been sold already,” he said.

The partnership…
The Golf Estate’s construction began, after an official signing of a memorandum of understanding event was hosted by former Governor Chibuike Amaechi. The estate is a Public, Private Partnership between a real estate developer, Taff Nigeria Homes Limited, with 80 per cent holding and the Rivers State Government that has 20 per cent, represented by the land equity it provided.

Taff Nigeria Homes Limited is chaired by a former Managing Director of Shell, Mr. Basil Omiyi, an engineer and the estate is being built using a special purpose vehicle (SPV) known as RivTaf Nigeria Limited.
Njie said, “The project started when I was introduced to the Rivers State Government by the World Bank.”
The estate is being built on Peter Odili Road, Trans Amadi Layout, Port Harcourt.

Njie, a reputable developer with vast property holding in The Gambia that are located just across the road from the Atlantic Ocean, said the Port Harcourt Golf Estate is designed to be sold off-plan and that “of course people had doubts but I think that, so far, our clients are quite pleased and have developed confidence in us. We are pleased to say that all our Town Houses and Villas sold out within a month. At the moment, we don’t have any Town House or Villa on sale. We only have our apartments on sale.”
The apartment building has a ground floor plus three upper floors. Total floor area of the 2-bedroom is 84sqm and the 3-bedroom is 131sqms. Every floor has four apartments.

Each 3-bedroom Town-house has a total floor area of 182sqms with front and back garden; 4-Bedroom Townhouse; comprises a total floor area of 203sqms with front and back garden; 4-bedroom Villa has a total floor area of 231sqms with large garden and servant’s quarters; and the 5-bedroom Villa has a total floor area of 247sqms with large garden and servant’s quarters.
All the houses are designed to be fitted with; Porcelain floor and wall tiles; external security external doors, wooden internal doors; POP decorative ceiling; alluminium windows and patio doors; decorative roofing tiles; fitted kitchen cabinets and wardrobes; and ceramic sanitary ware.
Services that would be offered in the estate upon completion are; 24-hour electricity and water supply; round the clock security (gated community); garbage collection; maintenance of streets and public areas.

Community support…
The developer had sweet words for the host community, which he said has been very supportive. The work on the property and they are very diligent, he said.
He also commended the local community for cooperating with them on the project as well as with the local contractors. “Every construction work done here was by local contractors. All the contractors are small/medium size companies. They were hired locally and we are trying to build their capacity by equipping them.”
In the beginning, he said Taff Homes bought new mixers and other equipment for them and they are expected to pay in small installments, adding that the contractors were being trained. “Meetings are held with the contractors, the site Engineers to train them and build their capacity. I’ve been working in the construction sector for 35 years and I’ve worked in every sphere of construction; as an Engineer assistant, a surveyor, architect and so, I think I owe it to these young people to share my experience with them and that is the vision.”
He said by the time the estate was fully built, it could be replicated elsewhere and that by then the contractors would have been fully trained and “I hope that they would be beyond my size. So, within the next four to five years, we will have 12 or more contractors of this size, which can be replicated beyond the borders of this country.”
Construction supervision is provided by the project manager, Samson Abu, who works with every member of the team, including the drivers and cleaners. “We are all members of the same team.”