Galway firm in talks to establish housing factory in Nigeria
Modular housing firm Affordable Building Concepts in talks to build up to 5,000 homes
An Affordable Building Concepts modular house under construction.
A Galway company is in talks with a regional government in Nigeria to establish a factory there and build up to 5,000 modular homes for a social housing project.
Some of the houses are being proposed for a new “city”, dubbed “Calas Vegas” by local officials, adjacent to the existing state capital of Calabar. The houses would be designed off-site and erected in less than a week each.
Desmond Cullinane, chairman of Affordable Building Concepts International in Oranmore, confirmed his company is in discussions with the administration of Ben Ayade, the governor of Cross River State in southern Nigeria. He declined to give further details, however, as talks are ongoing.
“Nothing has been concluded at this stage. But they came to see what we had to offer and they liked it. It would be a major investment, but nothing is decided yet,” he said.
A spokesman for Mr Ayade also confirmed the discussions, but did not respond to a series of detailed questions about the value and scope of the project, or the timeline for its delivery.
Mr Ayade, who governs an area with a population of about four million, led a trade delegation to Ireland last month, during which he met Mr Cullinane. The Irish businessman visited Nigeria two weeks later to view potential sites and further discuss the proposed deal.
Mr Ayade announced locally that the modular homes would be constructed according to three different grades. He said they would be manufactured at a factory set up by Affordable Building Concepts, and erected to house poor residents “in less than three days”.
The governor wants to conclude a deal as part of a plan to build three new urban centres in Cross River, including the so-called Calas Vegas.
Mr Cullinane’s Asieur International, which operates in the construction industry, registered Affordable Building Concepts International as a trading name only last month.
The venture’s website says it has developed a patented foam cement panel it uses to build walls in its quick building method. A note from Mr Cullinane says it can erect a house in “less than five days” using the method.
He says the company currently has an annual production capacity of up to 15,000 houses. The houses are built in sections, with doors and windows in place within each section before it is erected.