After over 800 years of bustling commercial prosperity, the ancient city of Kano, a commercial nerve center of Nigeria will host what is to be the largest economic hub in Nigeria, the Kano Economic City.
One of the leading indigenous real estate and infrastructural development company Brains & Hammers Ltd is set to begin the construction of a megacity in Kano which will serve as the commercial and trading needs of Kano State and neighboring countries like Niger, Chad, Sudan and Cameroon.
Conceptualized and conceived over a decade ago, the Kano Economic City, known before as Kanawa International Market, suffered setbacks in the project execution despite efforts to see to the success of the project.
The new Kano Economic City is located strategically along the major entrance into the historic city on Zaria-Maiduguri road.
With economic activities picking up in the state, the need for an ultra-modern market with state-of-the-art facilities, designed to international standard becomes imperative as the ancient city gradually metamorphosed into a mega city.
After identifying the potentials of the market, Brains and Hammers, which has already sunk its roots in the Abuja and Lagos real estate sector, swung into action in its effort to ensure the economic city complements other markets in the city thereby boosting the state’s role as the commercial nerve center of Northern Nigeria.
It is for this reason that the Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, few weeks ago, officially signed the joint development agreement with Brains and Hammers Ltd for the development of Kano Economic City.
While signing the N167. 508 billion agreement, Gov. Ganduje expressed delight about the potentials of this new economic city with the capacity to provide merchants and shoppers with amenities and services that befit the state’s mega-city status.
Brains and Hammers Ltd. is expected to finance and deliver the project on a build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) arrangement with the state government.
The foundation laying ceremony of the project is expected to be performed by President Muhammadu Buhari in the first quarter of 2017 and work on the project will commence immediately. The duration period for the construction of the city is 90 months. It is anticipated that about 500,000 jobs would be created during the life span of the project.
Situated in a neighborhood defined by a well balanced mix of commercial and residential properties, the market is located near major access roads such as the Zaria-Maiduguri highway, and is also adjacent to major landmarks that guarantees easy access and visibility for all tenants and shoppers.
Brains and Hammers will soon roll out prices for specified products at the market which will further provide insight to traders interested in securing shops and participating in the project.
Apart from boosting Kano’s modern business, the investment corridor in Kano as well as value chain linkages will be enhanced in order to attract direct foreign investment and also catalyze the activities of small and medium scale industries, as well as market to preserve and dispose farm produce and enhance marketing system that farmers will benefit from immensely.
The KEC is designed to accommodate a World Trade Center, wholesale and retail market comprising state-of-the-art warehousing facilities totaling over 80,000 sqm and over 10,000 wholesale and retail shops, an educational institute, light factories/industries, conference center, banks, office complex, health center, police station, a games park, fire station, International Coach Station, a five star hotel, motel, passenger and goods motor parks, trailer park, ancillary buildings and ample green areas, among others. This project is to be implemented in three phases over a period of seven years.
The market is expected to provide maximum opportunities for interaction among the market users as well as provision and full utilization of support facilities, efficient goods handling, pleasant ambiance, attractive and comfortable environment, energy efficiency and ease of maintenance.
The design is also expected to meet international standards for health and safety.
Speaking during the JVA signing ceremony at the Government House in Kano, Gov. Ganduje explained that, “the signing of the contract has opened a new chapter in the commercial development of the state. Project cost is N167, 508, 992,430.15, the significance of the Kano Economic City is an indication that the present administration is committed to the overhaul of our marketing and commercial structures with the provision of modern facilities and other infrastructural facilities as roads to ease vehicular transportation as well as movement of goods.”
Governor Ganduje, who noted that efforts by past administrations to actualize the project had failed, stated that the decision to sign the agreement with the new developers was a significant departure from past proposals and asserted that it is cogent enough to raise the hope that, “the state would soon have a befitting market and other facilities solely financed by the company.”
The governor then made a presentation of the Certificate of Occupancy of the 117.2 hectares of land to the project developers.
In his remarks, the Managing Director, Brains and Hammers Ltd., Umar Abdullahi said the decision of the company to work with the government of Kano State on the project is based on the huge potentials of the project and explicit determination of the Ganduje administration to improve human and infrastructural development of the state.
Abdullahi said the Kano Economic City would be a signature project for Brains and Hammers and said the proposal has shown great departure from the past and has assured that the state will soon have a befitting market. He said there will be mortgage arrangements with financial institutions for traders and general public.
He said that the market design has taken into consideration the supply chain mechanism for effective delivery of goods and services. He further stated that his company has already started receiving patronage through request for retail shops and warehouses adding that this will have a ripple effect which will complement other existing markets in the city that are witnessing increasing economic activities.
He said a training institute would also be available at the complex for business leaders and entrepreneurs from the entire country who could avail themselves of such opportunities instead of paying through their noses to obtain same abroad.
He said the new market will help to decongest the city of heavy vehicular traffic and movement of goods and services and also curb incessant fire outbreaks in some of the city’s markets.