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•Photo: Peter Obi
By Chukwujekwu Ilozue, Reporter, Onitsha
Anambra State government has acquired new parcels of land for the establishment of modern industrial estate that will host 4,000 residential housing complex. The estate to be located in Awka capital territory is to be named “Green Wood City.”
Former Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Town Planning, Mr. Peter Afuba, disclosed this during an appearance before members of the state House of Assembly for confirmation as nominee for ministerial position.
Afuba said that plans were underway to relocate the present industrial estate from Agu Awka Layout to a more convenient location to create adequate space for the proposed mega city, as already provided in the Awka capital structural plan.
He expatiated that basic amenities would be adequately provided with well designed roads constructed before embarking on the erection of houses, while arrangements had been finalized in respect of the Salvation Layout, Mgbakwu, as well as the estates at Nawfia and other places which due compensations were settled with the native land owners.
There were, however, some outstanding cases of withheld compensations when different parties laid claims to ownership of the same portions of land, like the Orient Petroleum site at Umueri, where various groups raised strong issues and claims of ownership which were verified to be factual and such concerned parties had to be accommodated.
Afuba said the state governor had an exclusive prerogative to grant authorization for allocation of land at the acquired layouts to potential estate developers and interested investors.
Conceding that money paid for compensation had often generated fracas and disputes in some communities, as observed by Kenechukwu Chukwuemeka, member for Awka South I constituency, Afuba expatiated that government usually delays release of funds wherever disputes arose until the parties reconcile and tender documentary evidence of amity.
He stated that petitions abound over land compensation from different communities, arising from multiple estate surveyors, valuers and attorneys fronting for the concerned parties and land owners whose deduction of legal charges were regarded as outrageous by the natives. He advised that legal agreements be properly understood by all parties concerned to avert trouble.