From Ekaete Ikubor
The Rivers State government has said it would acquire all undeveloped plots and uncompleted buildings in the old and new Government Residential Areas (GRAs) in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.
Briefing journalists in Port Harcourt , the commissioner for housing , Mr Tasie Nwobueze , disclosed that the State Executive Council (SEC) has approved the acquisition, saying the long abandonment of those properties without attention had converted them to hideouts for criminals and miscreants who constitute security risk to those residing within the GRAs.
Nwobueze said: “Leaving those plots overgrown with grasses have defaced the urban renewal programme which the state government is implementing”.
He stated that the council has approved that all those undeveloped plots and uncompleted buildings in Old GRA and New GRA be acquired, adding, “Monetary payment will be made to the owners as agreed with the government”.
The commissioner further stated that council had also approved that after the plots were acquired, they would be reallocated to citizens and residents of the state capable of redeveloping or developing them within a timeline of 12 months.
“Council also approved that those reallocated these plots cannot resell these properties to anybody and if they do, Rivers State government will revoke such allocation,” he said pointing out that council also confirmed ratification of any previous acquisition made by the state government.
Nwobueze further said that the council also approved the sale of the state government-owned former Riv-Bank Insurance building and premises located on plots 6 , 7 and 8 Orije Layout on the Port Harcourt-Aba Expressway to members of the public.
According to him, the Wike administration has reconstructed and developed the structure into a 7 storey office complex.
“The state government took this decision considering that the property would be better maintained by private investors and that the funds invested by the Rivers State government in reconstructing this seven-storey building can be recouped from the sale of this property”, he said.
He maintained that the proceeds from the sales of the property would be judiciously put into the execution of the numerous ongoing projects by the state government.