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The booming property market on Abuja airport road

Kolade Omotosho, who has been residing in the Federal Housing Estate Lugbe along the airport road, said that the Abuja airport has brought the area…

Kolade Omotosho, who has been residing in the Federal Housing Estate Lugbe along the airport road, said that the Abuja airport has brought the area into limelight as well as attracted significant development to the area. He said that the area is developing very fast with its attendant rise in house rents and land sales, describing it as a viable area to invest in real estate.
The area of recent is welcoming more tenants and landlords due to the completion of 10- lane airport road which has reduced traffic chaos initially experienced by residents who commute to the city centre. The expressway has been expanded from four lanes to 10 lanes.
Another noticeable investment in the area is the springing up of hotels. Although most of these hotels are located in various settlements along the airport expressway, investigations revealed that they are well patronized.  
Patrick Nosa, a staff of White House Hotel in Lugbe said that many people who have flights to catch early morning prefer to lodge in the area so as to not to miss their scheduled flights.
He said that the high cost of chartering cabs from suburbs of the Abuja like Kubwa, Nyanya and  Mararaba for those who want to travel through the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport is another reason the hotel business is booming in the area.
Although most of the hotels are not of  five- star standard, residents still lodge in them and in some cases negotiate to have their cars parked within their premises for some agreed sums of money.
As the forces of demand and supply play out in the area more housing estates have sprung up namely: FHA Estate, Wisdom Estate, Trademore Estate, NCC Estate, Shibann Court Estate, Osilama Garden Estate, People Paradise Estate, Triumph Estate, Aviation Village and Pent House Estate amongst several others.
Recently, President Good luck Jonathan commissioned 270-unit residential Aviation Village through an estate development loan granted to SunTrust Real Estate Investment Ltd, a private estate developer. The housing unit is located on airport road, lending credence to the fact that the area is fast becoming the next city centre.

Also, the National Space Development and Research Agency (NSDRA), FHA, Voice of Nigeria Transmission Station estates are all in Lugbe. Many universities are also under construction in the area.
However, there are concerns about settlements in this place captured as Phase V in Abuja city development plan. Settlements like Pyakassa, Kuchigoro, Lugbe Across, Tudun Wada and Muwalenge are not yet approved by the Federal Capital Administration (FCTA) and there are threats to their being removed by authorities. Yet these settlements accommodate homes to thousands of residents.
Demolition exercises carried out by the development control department of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) in the past in the various settlements along the airport axis led to loss of property and displacement of people as structures in their hundreds were pulled down leaving in its wake pains, tears and sorrow.
The development control department on September 28 and 29 demolished about 500 housing units in Minauel Estate in Lugbe. This raised so much dust.
 A source told Daily Trust that the developer, Minauel was approached severally by FCTA to forfeit the estate in exchange for monetary benefits or another land allocation but he refused. Structures valued at N2 billion were finally reduced to rubble.
Suffice it to say the airport road is fast becoming a city part where many are anxious to either build personal homes or put up houses for commercial purposes?
The biggest thing now is the plan by government to build distinct cities on the Airport. One of them is called Centenary City. Abuja Centenary City is part of Nigeria’s centenary celebration. The centenary city will be modeled after cities such as Dubai, Monaco and Singapore, to serve as a political and economic tool for securing foreign investment.
According to the Secretary to the Federal Government, Senator Pius Anyim the idea is to get a better city than Abuja where people will not need to provide basic amenities by themselves. It is expected that the Abuja Centenary City will be the financial hub of the capital of Nigeria.
The Centenary City is a project of the future. It will be a high profitable entity for the government agencies, investors and users because of its designation as a “duty free zone” and “tax shelter” with special banking regulations.
The project site is located near the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. It is estimated to cost $4bn. It will be bought over by a parent company that will manage the entire construction project. The City is planned for a residential population of about 100,000 people but to host about 500,000 visitors daily.
 Samuel Ezekeil, a resident of Trade Moore Estate said with the Centenary City in the pipeline, airport road will soon become the toast of all and sundry, adding that the area’s landed properties will soon be comparable with what is obtainable in the city centre.
 Former FCT town planners chairman Barnabas Atiyaye said FCTA should integrate the existing residents in the new Lugbe layout so that the area, after the anticipated development will not be essentially dominated by the rich. Atiyaye said, “We foresaw them taking over the land because development is reaching there. So these people’s right has to been protected. I am happy Lugbe residents are very organized, they know their rights. They have faced many threats of demolition but because of their knowledge of fundamental human rights that has slowed down government’s approach towards demolition. The Centenary City is coming up and the area is going to be of high demand. The land value will increase seriously and the demand for that land will be keenly contested by the political class, the rich, business people and by the people that have interest and the money. They will like to buy the whole place but that is not the best way. Their present structures should be upgraded instead of demolition.”  
 He said that government has not made a formal invitation to professional bodies apart from those professionals in government. “If they have got the views of those outside government we could have given alterative. To get a city within a city is such a challenge that we must confront. If it becomes a reality and they are able to integrate that city with the Abuja city itself then there could be like a twin city that can function very well if well coordinated.”

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