Housing estates of all description dot the expanse of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, from the beautiful, the classy, the spacious and the grand, to the laughable, the functional, the dysfunctional and the low-down. What defines their status are the residents, the infrastructure, the environment, the planning and their location, as well as the electricity supply.Culled from Leadership Newspaper
Many of these estates in the FCT are quite exclusive; residences of the bourgeoisie you may want to call them. The exorbitant rent charged for the houses within such estates places them far beyond the reach of the average Nigerian. This is the hallmark of a capitalist society, where exists a class system based on the economic power of individuals.
Senior partner at Osas and Oseji, Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Mr Osas Aigbekaen, who spoke to LEADERSHIP Newspaper said that some estates are expensive because of the facilities in them – good access roads, swimming pools, tennis courts, water treatment plants etc. Security, cost of land, quality of construction and so on are also considerations. According to Mr Aigbekaen, most of the estates are occupied by expatriates and high net worth Nigerians. He however also stated that “they are not actually exclusively occupied by the rich, because some of them are being paid for by the companies they work for, while some are being paid for by embassies.”
When asked if he knew of any of such estates where the facilities needed to be improved upon, in order to justify the high rents, Aigbekaen said, “I can’t say, because I don’t have such information.” According to him, the most expensive estates in the (FCT) are Maitama Heights, Peggy’s Pointe, The Ancestors Court, Bank of Industry Estates and Dantata Estates.
Another estate surveyor said that a few estate owners sell their property in part. According to him, most of them collect rent in dollars. He categorically mentioned Peggy’s Pointe as the most expensive estate in Abuja. He indicated that there is another estate in the FCT, deliberately unnamed, from which you can have a full view of the whole city. Speaking further, he stressed that return on investment in the estate business is very high. “Within six years, you can recover your money. They are mostly occupied by expatriates and few Nigerians,” he said.
Here are some of the most expensive:
Peggy’s Pointe located along Aguiyi Ironsi Street, adjacent Maitama General Hospital, has been identified as the most expensive estate in Abuja. There is no gainsaying that it is a place for the few privileged ones who can afford the exorbitant rent, or are maybe enjoying some benefactor’s largesse.
The occupants pay rent in dollars, as the owners of the estate do not accept payments in our local currency. The rent per annum for a three-bedroom flat in the estate is between $70, 000 and $100, 000.
The gate to this high profile enclave tells the first-time visitor the standard of the place. The security men manning the gate are very professional. No non-resident is allowed in without proper scrutiny.
THE ANCESTORS COURT
The Ancestors Court is another estate worth mention. Located in the highbrow Maitama area of the FCT, the street from the gate into the estate is lined on both sides by golden palm trees and flowers. The environment is serene and very homely.
According to a reliable source who spoke to LEADERSHIP Friday, the estate has such amenities as a swimming pool, squash court, 24-hour water supply, uninterrupted power supply and adequate security. These services partly account for the high rent paid for accommodation in the estate. Rent and property sales transactions are also done in foreign currency here. For instance, rent for a three-bedroom flat is US$55, 000 per annum. Residents also pay a service fee of N2million for the facilities and services that give this estate an edge over others in terms of grandeur and luxury.
BANK OF INDUSTRY ESTATE
Bank of Industry Estate is located in Asokoro, another plush area in the FCT. There, accommodation is as high as what is obtainable in Maitama and Wuse 2. A house with closed circuit television (CCTV), generator and other attractive amenities goes for as much as $50, 000 to $65, 000 per annum. The area is mostly occupied by expatriates and high net worth Nigerian professionals.
CROWN COURT ESTATE
Crown Court Estate is situated behind Gilmore Building, off Shehu Musa Yar’adua Expressway, Utako, a little distance from the VIO Office and the Federal Ministry of Environment.
This is a fast developing area, sporting apartments and flats of various sizes. There are no markets or worship places to disrupt the relative serenity of the environment.
It houses 28 duplexes and 28 apartment blocks. Neat lawns and rows of hedges can be seen everywhere.
A duplex here consists of five bedrooms, while the apartments have three. The buildings come equipped with a few modern kitchen gadgets, flat screen TVs and cable TV connection, and a CCTV camera.
There are four step-down transformers, four offices, ‘boys quarters’ attached to the duplexes and three huge automatic generators. Recreation is provided for in the estate with a gym, bar, children’s park and a general swimming pool.
The apartments are valued at N55 million and costs N5 million to rent, while the duplexes are valued at N78 million each.
PALM SPRING GOLF ESTATE
Seated on the mountainous terrain adjacent Mpape Hills and overlooking the affluent residential area of Maitama, Palm Spring Golf Estate is what many suburbanites dreams are made of. Its name aptly describes it, as elegant palm trees line its streets and surround the houses in neat rows, giving it a uniquely tropical look.
It consists of three blocks – Villas E1, E2 and E3 – of 28 housing units. The houses are either three to four-bedroom single-storey houses, or five-bedroom two-storey houses, each with a ‘boys quarters’. The houses come with fully-equipped kitchens, among other furnishing and other amenities, and each house has a swimming pool. Provision is made for multiple boreholes with water reservoirs and a water treatment plant.
The estate has a jogging trail and narrow stream with a bridge over it adds to the picturesque environment.
The single-storey houses are worth N400 million each, while each two-storey house is N500 million.