Gombe State, located in the centre of Nigeria’s North East, shares boundaries with all the five other states that make up the sub-region. The strategic location of the state has enhanced its growth, a development that is boosting property business in the state.
The conducive and peaceful atmosphere in Gombe; being the most peaceful state in the North East, its agrarian nature, in addition to being the commercial nerve centre of the sub-region, as well as friendly government policies, have attracted several property developers to the state.
Speaking with Daily Trust, a registered builder, Abubakar Kawu Babayo, explained that business opportunities in Gombe encouraged people to relocate there and settle permanently, noting that, “They need houses to stay and places to serve as base for their respective businesses.”
He explained that the trend had created a huge demand for new residential and commercial property.
Babayo, who owns a property company, RBT Universal Concept, added that those who could not afford to build their own houses had to rent houses to stay after their relocation.
He stated that the factor further boosted the real estate sector because the demand for residential property was always increasing.
According to him, financially buoyant residents of the state have taken the golden opportunity of the new migrants by massively building both residential and commercial property for rent.
Daily trust identifies at least five of such areas in the city.
Federal Low-Cost/Buba Shongo
The area is located Northwest of Gombe city. It was first developed in the 1980s during President Shehu Shagari’s administration. The vast lands behind the estate, which hitherto were farmlands, have now been developed into luxury houses in the last 20 years.
A plot of land in the area costs from N20m and above. Also, rent in the area is very expensive, starting from N500,000 and above for a two-bedroom house.
The Federal Low-Cost also has a good road network and most of the streets are illuminated with solar street lights. There is also a police outpost, and it’s a few metres from the Gombe State Police Command and the state office of the Department of State Services (DSS). This makes it one of the most secured areas in the metropolis.
In addition to the Federal Teaching Hospital (FTH), located in its backyard, there are private hospitals, schools and shopping centres near the area.
It is located less than five kilometres from the Gombe town, thereby providing easy commuting for residents to visit markets and other places to get essential services that are only accessible in the ancient town.
New GRA is an extension of the Government Reserved Area (GRA) houses built in the 1970s, where mostly officials of the Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) resided.
With the creation of Gombe State in 1996, a new housing estate christened “Buhari Estate” was built by the administration of the first Military Administrator of the state, Group Captain Joseph Orji, to provide accommodation for thousands of workers that returned to the then new state from the old Bauchi State.
However, in the last 20 years, the tremendous development witnessed in the state has made houses in both the old GRA and Buhari Estate to be grossly inadequate to accommodate people that are trooping to the state to settle.
As such, farmlands that surrounded the area have been taken over by developers who have built and are still building modern luxury apartments and tenement houses. It is one of the most serene places to live in Gombe city.
The New GRA has a good road network, with streets adorned with lavish trees and solar-powered lights.
According to property valuers, a 100/100 plot costs over N100m.
It is observed that there are a few houses for rent in the area, with most of the beautifully built houses privately owned.
The office of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) of the police is located within New GRA, which further improves the security of the area.
Orji Quarters/Abubakar Habu Hashidu Estate
Just like Buhari Estate, the Orji Quarters and Hashidu Estate, which are adjacent to each other, are located in the Western part of Gombe town along Bauchi road.
The estates were built by the first military administrator and the first civilian governor of the state, Group Captain Joseph Orji and Abubakar Habu Hashidu, respectively.
The houses, named after the two former governors, were constructed by the government to provide affordable accommodation for civil servants in the state.
However, after the allocation and subsequent selling out of the houses to the occupants through an owner-occupier policy, the government developed a new layout behind the estates and allocated them to interested buyers.
A place that was an inaccessible bush 20 years ago is now one of the highbrow areas in the state, with gigantic posh houses that cost fortunes to develop. For instance, a 50/50 plot costs over N10m, while houses for rent start from N300,000.
Daily Trust observed that most of the houses are owned by politicians, top level civil servants and players in the private sector.
There is also a good road network, and most of the houses have potable water supply. There is also a police outpost which provides security.
Also, the federal government last year commissioned over 76 new housing units behind the Hashidu Estate.
Another highbrow area in Gombe that is witnessing massive development is the Tumfure axis. Some 25 years ago, Tumfure was a sleepy village on the outskirts of Gombe metropolis along Bauchi Road.
Today, it is one of the fastest growing areas in Gombe, where massive houses are springing up. It is also one of the areas where socialites operate freely in the evening, away from the conservative atmosphere in the ancient Gombe town.
Located about eight kilometres from Gombe town, Tumfure is populated mostly by people from the Southern part of the country and is the most cosmopolitan residential area in the metropolis.
Some few metres from Tumfure is the Investment Estate, another highbrow area that was developed towards the end of former Governor Muhammad Danjuma Goje’s administration by the Gombe State Property and Investment Company.
The area is now the fastest growing residential area in Gombe metropolis, where a two-bedroom house is rented out at over N350,000, while a 50/50 plot of land costs over N1m.
City Centre/Behind Legislative Quarters
City Centre is located opposite the popular Bauchi Motor Park, a few metres from the New GRA.
It was designated as City Centre by the state government through the pronouncement of a plan to build a new state secretariat complex, new state high court complex and new House of Assembly complex.
Since the pronouncement, prices have skyrocketed, with a plot costing over N100m. Also, property developers have been trooping to the place to build luxury apartments for rent and private use.
The area has a good road network and potable water supply.
The area, which stretches up to the Southern Bypass, is arguably the most expensive destination of choice for property investment in the whole of Gombe City, because of its proximity to all the four aforementioned highbrow residential areas in the state.
It is bordered to the East by New GRA; Federal Low-Cost to the North East; Orji Quarters and Hashidu Estate to the North West; and Tumfure and Investment Quarters to the far West.
A player in the property market, Anas Adamu Muhammad, said good infrastructure had helped in maintaining optimal value of the property, noting that certainty in land administration made the property market to boom in the state.
Muhammad, who is the owner of a property company, Salbrix Nigeria Limited, added that the new land administration through the Gombe Geographic Information Systems (GOGIS) had helped in land administration “and is one of the factors that attracted property developers to the state.
“There is guarantee and certainty in land administration, because land ownership is not in crisis; unlike before. As a result of that, people are migrating to Gombe because of the relative security experience in the state,” he added.
According to him, the GOGIS and the Gombe State Urban Planning and Development Authority (GOSUPDA) have made the property market in the state prosper.