NSITF Takes Possession of Alagbon Towers, Plans Luxury Flats

Culled from Thisday Newspaper

It was a moment of deep emotions of relief as the keys to the imposing Alagbon Towers in Ikoyi, Lagos were handed over to Alhaji Umar Munir Abubakar, Executive Director, Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), by a representative of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, in Lagos, last week.
Alhaji Abubakar, who represented NSITF’s Managing Director, Alhaji Ahmed Rufa’i Mohammed, presented a cheque of N2.4 billion to the Housing and Urban Development Ministry.
The Alagbon Towers are three huge structures built on 12,000sqm of choice land in Ikoyi. Each tower has 24 three bedroom flats.
“This property had a reserved price of N2.4 billion but following in-depth professional valuation and analysis we submitted our bid in the sum of N1.2 billion well ahead of the 15th April, 2004 deadline…the NSITF happened to be the only organisation that bidded for the property,” said Alhaji Mohammed.
He said the estate would be remodeled and transformed into luxury flats by Profund Properties, the real estate partner of NSITF with South African connections, and which was represented at the presentation by its Managing Director, Mr. Michael O’Malley.
The new estate will have full recreational facilities of international standards, along with befitting landscaping. “Renovation works will commence soon as we have already engaged experts that have been working on the project,” said Mohammed. Adding, “we are happy that what we intend to do will provide job opportunities to professional and skilled workers both during the renovation work or after…there will be decent accommodation for Nigerians…above all, the project will enhance the real estate portfolio of the Fund.”
Dr. Mimiko said the handingover of the magnificient edifice would not have been possible but for the doggedness, commitment and determination of the Implementation Committee on the Alienation of Federal Government Landed Property to secure vacant possession of the building.
“The Committee is not unaware of the various attempts by the former occupants of the building to scuttle the reform policy of the Federal Government on the issue of shedding unnecessary burden of maintaining those structures at a high rate…government’s action was underscored by the recommendation of the ‘Rotimi Commission of Inquiry’s Report’, which enviced, inter-alia, the rapidly deteriorating condition of the properties and the urgent need for definite measures to dispose of them to the private sector, which has the capacity to maintain them…consideration was also given to the financial burden it would have placed on the civil servants if they were sold to them”.
Mimiko restated government’s policy to divest from the responsibility of providing residential accommodation for all categories of public/civil servants, saying that it was on account of this that government approved the leasing of its residential properties. The monetisation policy, he said was government’s palliative measure to cushion the effect of its policy to divest.
He commended NSITF for their patience, cooperation and support. “If they had insisted on immediate vacant possession, the matter could have taken more time to resolve…they had been quite proactive and helpful in the whole exercise leading to this occasion”.

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