The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners and the Council of the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) has commended an Abuja-based real estate development company, Cosgrove Investment Limited, for constructing a 1.5km access road to its estate located opposite Maitama Ministers Hill, Abuja.
Chief Executive Officer, Cosgrove, Mr. Umar Abdullahi said his organisation “constructed the road in exercise of its firm commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility,” adding that apart from providing all requisite infrastructure within the estate, the organisation also embarked on provision of off-site infrastructure in order to add value to the community, stating that availability of access roads are crucial to development of commerce in human society. These he said are factors that inspired the construction of the access road.
“If you launch a social bond aiming to create or maintain development in economically disadvantaged communities, you have to be able to report your results on that front,” he says. “Cosgrove is not only interested in financial returns but in performance as well.”
Institutional stakeholders of the Nigerian built environment gave the commendation and unanimously agreed that the execution of capital intensive projects such as roads will add value to properties in the vicinity.
The National President of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Tpl Lekwa Ezutah said the initiative will make it easy for residents to easily access the area, a factor he said will improve the development of commerce in the area.
“There is no doubt that a developer who provides access road to his estate has done well because the effort will benefit the community,” he said, adding that the gesture will not go unappreciated by the community.
Indigenous to Nigeria, Cosgrove is the construction industry giant which took the lead to develop the first set of super-smart estates in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory. The company has commenced the production of five hundred smart homes in four smart estates within the FCT, with each home featuring the latest innovations in home automation, security and construction technique.
Discussing the development, the President of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, Engr Kashim Ali said it is a rare gesture of goodwill especially that only few estates would take it upon themselves to develop good roads, adding that developers who decide to provide roads as efforts in Corporate Social Responsibility must not fall below standard as has done by Cosgrove.
In a related development, the National President of the Nigerian Institute of Building, NIOB, Bldr. Kenneth Nnabuife Nduka commended Cosgrove for going the extra mile, and explained that “developers who go the extra mile to develop access roads to estates have done well because it will add value to other houses in that area, not only their estates,” adding that provision of access roads is actually supposed to be the responsibility of government.
According to him, “Nigerians pay taxes, people living in homes also pay ground rent to government,” adding that government owes Nigerians the responsibility of providing infrastructure needed to drive the implementation of housing projects by estate developers and private home builders.
The NIOB president called on government to restore the Site and Services Scheme which involved the mapping-out of estates while roads and utilities are channeled to the road to make it functional. He said: “Because the Scheme makes the road functional, developers could easily access their estates,” adding that if restored, it would help to plan the environment in such a way that projected services requirement could be identified and provided for.”
While saying that the Scheme makes it easy for developers to access their estates while adding great value to landed properties in the location, he explained that if the Scheme is not restored, there would be random approach to services delivery which is not in the best of interest of development control.
Discussing the development, Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), who is CEO, Development Planning and Management Consultants, DPMC, Tpl Onibokun Abimbola agreed that provision of offsite infrastructure by Cosgrove is a commendable effort that will add great value to the worth of housing in the vicinity. He encouraged industrialists across sectors of the Nigerian economy to take a clue from Dangote Cement and Cosgrove Investments, who are able to execute beneficial projects to communities that host their establishments, saying that it also adds value to the products of their organisations, cement and homes respectively.
Onibokun, who is a Fellow of the NITP said: “Cosgrove and Dangote share similar ideology in terms of provision of road infrastructure that link their establishments to the society in exercise of Corporate Social Responsibility,” stating that Dangote has almost finished constructing the road linking Obajana Cement Factory to the developed outlets of the area.