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Army Partners Developer for Ultramodern Market in Ojo

Posted by admin on November 9, 2023

Army Partners Developer for Ultramodern Market in Ojo

Precious Ugwuzor

Plans are underway to replicate the Nigerian Army Shopping complex in Oshodi known as Arena in the Ojo area of the state.

According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Acada Arcade Project, Col. Kingsley Umoh (rtd), the ultramodern market which was a joint venture with Post Service Housing Development Limited and the Nigerian Army (NA), was aimed at decongesting the Alaba International Market and other surrounding markets in the axis.

Noting the need for residents in that axis to have pleasurable shopping experiences, Umoh said the army was interested in bringing orderliness which was inline with the state government’s vision.

He said: “It is an attempt to provide a shopping complex for the Ojo environment to help offload the  pressure from markets like Alaba and others along that axis.

“It has all the facilities that should make going to the market comfortable and pleasant. It is a public-private sector project. The army is the owner of the property but has given the opportunity to investors to mobilise the funds and develop it in a profit sharing arrangement.”

He urged private sector players to invest in the project, noting that aside reaping huge returns on their investments, they would be part of history as the chaos in markets in that axis would drastically reduce.

“This arrangement is done in order to sensitise would-be-funders about the project and to display the merits of the project to them.

“The expectation of the project is to deliver a decent market in that environment of chaos,” he said.

Umoh said that it was not his first experience developing modern market projects on behalf of the Nigerian Army, adding that Arena Modern Market which is located  behind Nigerian Army Cantonment, Bolade, Oshodi was the pilot.

“The luck we had at that time is that we got funds from Oceanic Bank who took over the project and sponsored it to the end. But we need to source for funding for the Ojo project,” he said.

Umoh said that funders’ return on investment was assured because the project was a secured one in which the Nigerian Army was involved.

“The army as an institution will not get involved in frivolous activities. The project belongs to the army and we are just developers developing on behalf of the army.

“The biggest selling point for this project is the integrity that goes with it,” the Colonel said.

Director of Finance, Folarin Aluko-Olokun, said the Ojo project would consist of 1,500 shops and 28 bays of warehouses as well as a creche, green area for relaxation, hotel and other facilities for the comfort of the shoppers.

“It is a one stop shop for everything stemming from retail household materials to electronics to industrial goods, among others.

“We have made it flexible for people to adopt ownership and we have mortgage bankers that are ready to finance shops or warehouse owners.

“The market is meant to decongest Alaba International and other markets along that axis for those who do not like rowdiness,” he said.

Acada Arcade project’s architect, Lanre Adeleke, said the market would have the added advantage of being organic.

“Organic in the sense that what was represented on the site originally was a vegetable farm which will not be displaced with the introduction of concrete and other structures.

“We are not displacing the vegetable patches that is native to that location but instead, integrating it, which means that all that green areas that have been designated on the market remain as vegetable patches. 

“So, you can be buying your electronics on one side but still have your vegetables on the other side,” he said.

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