By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The acting Director General (DG), of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Barr. Umar S. Gonto, has broke a new record in the agency, by setting a foundation for building of a shopping mall in Gwarinpa, Abuja.
Barr. Gonto said the event was first of its kind in the history of the FHA.
He stated that, “By this, the Authority is indeed stepping up the designed and well intended diversification of its services to
Nigerians, to include provision of commercial outlets apart from our regular residential houses.
The Ag.DG said “what we are witnessing now is the foundation laying of the mall, it is a product of Management decision, after extensive and exhaustive deliberation to convert the space to a shopping complex, serviced with all amenities that can compare to all modern standards”.
He further explained how the Management took into cognisance the fact that the Authority has no need having two offices in Gwarinpa Estate, a situation that has left them underutilized.
Gonto, pointed out that the project is a partnership between the FHA and Horizon Construction Company Limited, which is undertaking all the financial aspects of the transaction.
He also said that, “considering the rate of commercial development along the 3rd Avenue, where this mall is situated, the decision to develop this hitherto office space was reached to help address the demand of modern commercial spaces of the residents.
“The complex, designed on three (3) floors and a pent floor,comprises of 6 numbers of Large Spaces as open Malls, 24 number of Medium Spaces as Shops,12 numbers of Small Spaces as Shops.
Consequently, Pent Floor will accommodate ,a Restaurant and Meeting Spaces, Adequate Conveniences, Elevators and Staircases, Basement Parking spaces, External Parking Spaces and Provision of adequate Security features”.
According to him, the Management is also working out modalities to ensure that the outlets get to the interested members of the public at the most transparent manner.
“Let me put it on records that history and posterity will always resonate it, that the Federal Housing Authority rediscovered its self during the tenure of this current Board of Directors under the leadership of Senator Lawal Shuaibu.
“The numerous efforts the Board has put in to draw the attention of government to the Authority has indeed given Management the impetus and drive to move at the current pace it is going towards achieving its mandate,”he said.
The FHA boss emphasized that adequate measures have been taken in the drafting of the Memorandum of Understanding to ensure strict compliance to all the standards as found in the International best practice, especially the quality of works and timeline for the project.
“We are gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for graciously giving us a robust
Board of Directors and appreciating the intervention funding that has come to us through the efforts of our Board.
On his part, the Chairman Board of Directors of FHA, Sen.Lawal Shuaibu who was delighted at the ground breaking ceremony, said that shopping mall which will ensure the available space that was formally an office, has become shopping complex that will provide additional business accommodation in this strategic commercial environment, for the residents of Gwarinpa Estate .
“This shopping complex will eventually create various types of jobs for our teaming jobless young Nigerian,”.
Sen. Shuaibu reiterated that “this government as you are aware,does not tolerate waste and I therefore urge the management of both FHA and our partners, Horizon Construction Company, to keep to scheduled timelines of completion as the days of incomplete and abandoned project are over in this country”,he said.