• Mayor of Housing unleashes corporate social responsibility ahead of entry in Alesa
• Wins rare award in Alesa Eleme
By Ignatius Chukwu
Assets especially land and property may rapidly appreciate in Alesa Eleme due to a security model that has been unveiled in the community last weekend.
It has been agreed in the oil region that locations where there is relative peace and stability experience increased value in assets against volatile areas.
Alesa has been in the news over the years with negative messaging but a new era seems to have dawned on the community, and this is not for nothing.
Now, what looks like a model for peaceful coexistence between host communities and investors or corporations may have been discovered in the community.
This is encompassed in a model that involves the upcoming corporate entity becoming a corporate citizen of the host community by creating a blueprint for peace, security, and social development of the area. The blueprint also clearly spells out and securitises the interest and equity of the community with clear path of realisation of the set goals at every milestone.
This model has been created by a real estate success strategist, the Mayor of Housing, My-ACE China, and the Alesa community. They have reached an understanding and created security synergy to promote peace so investments can flow into Alesa, though the Mayor of Housing is yet to start project execution.
This was unveiled on December 30, 2023, at Alesa when the youths launched their security vigilante backed by sensitive equipment provided for them by the Mayor of Housing who is the CEO of the Construction & Housing Mayor Limited.
This model has already attracted commendations and reactions from personalities and stakeholders in the Alesa Eleme area especially on the day it was unveiled.
Most speakers called on investors and companies to emulate the Mayor of housing and to adopt the advanced Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy as an entry and engagement policy.
Explaining the model, the Mayor of Housing said his passion for housing development made him to seek ways of creating synergy between investors and host communities. He said he found this in collaboration as a concept. “I am a real estate success strategist, and the sobriquet did not come for nothing. It is a name I got on the back of coordinating and exponentially increasing value through collaboration and innovation. And, that is what we are doing here in Alesa.
“Collaboration is what multiplies value for me. It is the way I coordinated value in Abuja that made people to start calling me the ‘Governor of Housing’. I said no, Mayor is better than Governor, because Governor is becoming common in Nigeria. It is not a political appointment. It is on the back of merit in development and collaboration.”
In terms of development, he said, he sees himself as the most development savvy real estate investor and developer in Africa and the most collaborative businessman in this part of the world.
“One of the reasons is because I do not do development alone. For instance, what informed this peace project in Alesa is because I cannot come into Alesa and develop Alesa into the most sustainable smart city to come to Africa without security, and I cannot secure Alesa without the youths. Interestingly, youths are the most neglected and underrated segment of the populace. It is wise to tap into their latent force and use it as fuel for development.”
On his message to the benefiting Alesa community, the Mayor of Housing said: “All I can tell the community is that two things promote development and attract investment in any given location. The first is security that usually gives rise to peace; they are two sides of the same coin. After this, the next thing is hospitality. You can see how they have accepted and embraced us and that is why we are doing what we are doing here. If Alesa was not hospitable to us, we would probably face our company’s business in Alesa only and go; but because they were hospitable to us, they accepted us with both hands, so that’s why we are doing this.”
According to him, any community, not just Alesa but across Africa and the world, that does not first get security, peace, and hospitality in terms of waivers and attractive packages that can attract investors, they will not develop. “They have done this to us. They have given us a lot of things that showed me they really wanted us to come in and develop the place. We are thus not doing this project haphazardly, we are doing it with our whole heart and commitment.
“On behalf of the chairman of the Construction & Housing Mayor Limited, Distinguished Senator Adawari Michael Pepple, we are committed to not only bringing development to Alesa but we want Port Harcourt to lead the way again in terms of development in Nigeria.”
He said the focus is to reverse the infamous Port-Lagos dichotomy. We discovered a trend where workers with the international oil corporations (IOCs) work in Port Harcourt but choose to live in Lagos.
“To solve that is not to pour lamentations over it every day. On our part, we want to tackle that by offering the nation an alternative to Lekki by bringing in a new Banana Island to Port Harcourt to compete with the Banana Island in Lagos. Ours is a high-end project, meaning it will attract high net worth personalities around the country and beyond. That is why we are excited by the 20,000-housing project Gov Sim Fubara of Rivers State just launched. What he is doing toward Ikwerre local council area is the low-end low-cost houses and we are doing the high-end luxury houses. With the two going on at the same time in this part of the country, the world will know that Port Harcourt has bounced back in the real estate sector.”
He admitted that most companies develop and give tokens back later but that his firm is yet to start any activity in Alesa but it has started by giving upfront to the people.
“This thinking comes from deep-rooted thinkers. I am a real estate success strategist and one of the routes to market is to warm up to your market. Any market you want to get into, do things to warm it up. You see companies doing promos and stuff like that. We deal in development and a bedrock of that is peace. It is only Real Estate Developers like us that would invest and promote peace first in an area they want to get into. It is interesting that this development will be starting in about March 2024, but we started our collaboration and CSR way back before now. We have even had Christmas package before now. Any real farmer will make the ground wet before moving in to farm. Alesa has accepted us and other investors can try this model.”
On the award to him as ‘Hero of Alesa Development’ by the Alesa Community, the Mayor of Housing described it as the most important award he has received.
This he said is because the project is going to be his directly curated estate because others before now were done with other brands.
He stated: “As I always say, the only thing more satisfying in this life than vision accomplished is mission accomplished. Watch out for the vision of the new Banana Island as we turn Alesa into a new city in Port Harcourt that will be the envy of other cities around the world. I remain committed and I remain grateful to the Alesa Community.”
A prominent leader in the community, a high chief, oil industry union leader, and chief executive of many companies, High Chief Sunny Nkpe, said what Mayor of Housing is doing is unprecedented in Alesa. He agreed that the model would definitely help to build lasting relationship between investors and host communities.
He said he didn’t take the information about what the Mayor of Housing was doing seriously until he saw things by himself.
He urged the youths and the vigilante unit to work hard to justify the objectives of the initiative.
The second in command to the king of Alesa, Mene Obarike White, who is the spokesman and staff bearer of the stool, urged other companies to adopt the model for a new era of peace and stability in host communities.
He said: “My impression is, when you come in the name of developing us and you are taking from us for your benefit, it doesn’t make any impact. You buy from me N2 million and you will sell N7 million, just for you to make the money and go away. That is not good. The Mayor of Housing has come to stay and that is the proper thing and this kingdom is behind him.”
On his own, the chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Alesa Highlands Oboriginal Land Owners, Mr Emmanuel Olaka, joined to say this is the first time the Alesa people were receiving a strong gesture from a company that is coming to their community. “I want to use this opportunity to let other investors know that this is a community that is ready to work with companies for peace and stability. Mayor of Housing is not coming to buy and sell land, but is coming to develop the place for us.
“I have the blueprint of what is happening there; by this time next year Alesa will not be the same again. This is because of what the Mayor of Housing has come to do. The leaders of the community are here to bear witness to what we are saying. The palace secretary Godwin Jibia is here. The secretary of Alesa youth has affirmed that we are not selling land to any other investors. Alesa people have accepted the Mayor of Housing as the one to come and develop the land for Alesa community. That is why he has brought all these gadgets. This is the first time we are receiving such a gesture from investors in our community. Big companies and organisations on our land have not done this. We thus invite them to emulate this model. We actually appreciate the Mayor of Housing for thinking out this measure of a project.
“The entire community is happy; the elders, the youths, the chiefs, the paramount ruler, Emperor Nkpe, we are all happy because this is the first time that somebody has not started even to clear the place but has started investing in the development of the community. It is good to consider the security of the land because if the community is not safe, then other developments cannot go on.”
The youth president-genera, Nwafor Ndiwator, expressed huge satisfaction with what has happened. “I’m very happy today because for a long time, I have not seen this kind of thing in my community. We have over 10 companies operating in Alesa area but we did not see this.
I thank the Mayor of housing for this opportunity given to our youths by donating these gadgets especially mobile radio units for security purposes.
“We’ll make good use of them and pray God to replenish his treasure. We have big companies in Alesa but they have not considered this approach. For over 60 years that companies have operated in our community, nobody has donated any item to the community for security.”
He said the entire youth of Alesa community were very happy for what the Mayor of Housing has done. “When the Mayor of Housing came into our land, he called me to work with him. I said no, I will not work with somebody that come to my land and sell lands away. He said no, he is not buying and selling. I decided to work with him. I have work and moved with him and when I saw that he is real, I now signed that the Mayor of Housing is real and is coming to stay in Alesa. So, the entire Alesa land will support him.
“We have other investors who come here and buy our land and sell. So, we started confronting them.
“Some of them don’t answer my call anymore because I told them the truth, to follow the footsteps or the model of Mayor of Housing, and not to come to buy and sell.
So today, with this, I believe that Alesa will be peaceful. And I’m telling any person that is coming into Alesa to copy this model.”
Dances and carnival processions took place all around Alesa to mark their good fortunes and good end of the year. An award was also presented to the Mayor of Housing as sign of being assimilated into the Alesa community social structure.