….lauds FG over enabling environment
By Michael Eboh and Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA- A real estate developer, Novare Real Estate Africa, has unveiled a $68 million shopping mall called Novare Gateway Mall with 60 stores in Abuja.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony in Abuja, Chairman, Novare Gateway Mall, Abuja, Professor Fabian Ajogwu, said the mall was a product of foreign direct investment aimed at boosting Nigeria’s economy.
Ajogwu said the mall was developed by Gray-Bar Alliance Limited, an affiliate of Novare Real Estate Africa, which serves as an investment portfolio across Africa, which is being driven by direct foreign investment and adopts hybrid financing.
The mall, he explained, sits on 15, 000 square metres of space, and already has as its tenants and retail giants, including Shoprite, Genesis Deluxe Cinemas, Pep Stores, Miniso Stores, Funworld, and others, and has a parking space for over 600 cars.
He emphasized that the government and Nigeria can realistically expect to have increased inflow of investments or foreign capital, because foreign investment only sees profits, and real and sustainable profits can only be made in a place with the minimum enabling economic environment.
He said: “As we celebrate this significant milestone, we are also encouraged to do more as we are confident that this would inspire more private sector investor-driven development in Nigeria, and across Africa.
“The Novare Gateway Mall developed by Gray-Bar Alliance Limited, (an affiliate of Novare Real Estate Africa, an investment portfolio involved in property development across Africa) is driven by foreign direct investment and adopts a hybrid financing (a mixture of Debt and Equity financing).
“The Mall which is valued at over $68 million sits on 15 000 square metres of space occupied by 60 stores. The Novare Gateway includes a second phase that will in future see another 10 000 square metres added to accommodate 33 more shops.
“The successful completion of the Novare Gateway Mall (in record time) is indeed a testament of the enabling environment created by the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the our landlord, the Federal Capital Territory, to encourage foreign direct investment and the continued visible rapid urban regeneration all over the FCT.”
According to him the importance of FDI to job creation and national development, gives them the confidence and optimism that Nigeria can only get better by creating a minimum adequate economic environment. This entails investment-friendly reforms, economies of scale in trade and investments, and building strong institutions.
“Nigeria’s attitude should be similar to that of South Koreans whose leaders have continually re-stated the fundamental truth that – “No one owes us (South Koreans) a living!” Indeed, no one else, but Nigeria owes herself a living; and this must be clearly reflected by creating and implementing innovative strategies that are aimed at turning the economy around.
“I must commend our contractors, Monterossa for a job well done, and on time. No doubt we are now using them to roll out our other mall project (Novare Central Office Park in Wuse, Abuja) currently under construction.
“The Mall which brings into Nigeria over $68 Million direct investment transcends financial value as it has from commencement until date, empowered over 5000 Nigerians through direct and indirect employment”, he stated.
Meanwhile, other ongoing projects by the company are malls in Abuja owned by Novare Equity Partners include the 8,267 square metre Novare Apo mall located about 18km from Novare Gateway to the south-east of Abuja, a 12,508-square metre Novare Central office park, a mixed-use centre consisting of retail space and A-grade offices.
According the chairman, in Lagos, Novare has developed a 22, 000 square metre Novare Lekki Mall (the biggest mall in Lagos State), which commenced trading in August 2016. Novare Lekki was awarded Real Estate Deal of the Year by The Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) at its 2016 commerce and industry awards in July 2017.