A FRESH plan has been launched by the Ogun State government to reorder private estate developments along the Mowe-Ofada-Papalanto and its environs into a new town development scheme as a means to pre-empt the growing incidents of haphazard development of structures and inappropriate planning within the corridor.
Under the proposed scheme, the State’s Land Bureau has began an acquisition of some of the landed property within the axis owned by individuals, communities corporate organisations and private developer to actualize its New Town Project.
Essentially, the government has acquired lands stretching from Odeda, Ifo, Mowe, Ofada and Papalanto axis up to Abeokuta Exchange, where over 40 developers have their estates. The land size was put at about 37 hectares.
Close on the heels of the on-going scheme, several property developers have launched estate developments along the affected areas, while some have started infrastructural works; others only have their signposts to show for years of marketing the projects. Most of the estates are sold under the site and services scheme.
Expectedly, ripples of the effect on the proposed new town scheme would be felt by prospective homeowners, especially those who have committed their life savings on the procurement of plots in affected estates.
But the Special Adviser to Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, on Land Matters, Mrs. Ronke Sokefun, who also doubled as the Director General (DG), Land Bureau, said the process is “to avoid the kind of haphazard development being witnessed along the Lagos-Shagamu expressway, with their attendant environmental and security challenges,
According to her, government embarked on the new town project in the Papalanto axis, ostensibly to harmonise the existing infrastructure and correct to anomalies therein there would be the need for ratification exercise to know the affected estates and those to be incorporated into the scheme while compensation would be paid to those whose property would need to give way, “provided they have the necessary documents.”
On the allegation of neglect by Riverview estate residents against Ogun State Government, especially on the non-provision of the needed infrastructure, despite paying charges for the provision of certain facilities, such as drainage and roads, the DG said government has many things seeking its attention than the issues at the estates.
But relying on what she called “the original plan”, she said that Ogun government, right from inception of the state has no plan to sell that portion of land for development purposes, because the terrain is water plane.
Her words: “Since 1999, when Ogun Property and Investment Corporation (OPIC), was created, it has never sold that portion of land to anybody. The two-kilometre Right of Way (RoA) has been under its control and not until 2003-2007 that Isheri Riverview was sold. This is purely a water plane. So, where would government get billions of Naira to develop water lodged area when many places are calling for attention?”
Meanwhile, the Ogun state government has fulfilled its promise to adequately compensate owners of properties to be demolished in the course of constructing a six lane road as it pays the sum of N88.07million to 69 individuals whose property are to be affected by the expansion of the Agbeloba axis of Abeokuta. In a statement by the press Officer of the Bureau of Lands, Mrs. Toluwalope Kowo, handing over the cheques to the claimants, the deputy director of lands, Mr. Isaac Akogun, said that the present administration in the state followed the normal laid down procedures of non-demolition until the compensation was paid.
He said that the yardstick used by the bureau to authenticate whom to be compensated included Certificate of Ownership (CofO), survey and building plan of the properties, noting that government contracted the valuation of the properties to a consultant on property value and payment was based on his verification and final submission.
Mr. Akogun remarked that physical development was part of beautification and urban renewal, adding that after the initial discomfort, residents would benefit in the long run from the infrastructures.
He enjoined residents to always cooperate with government, urging that were necessary, owners of property that could disturb infrastructural growth should surrender them for overall public good, particularly now that that government is paying compensation promptly.
Speaking shortly after collecting his cheque, one of the claimants, Chairman, Ansarudeen Mosque, Agbeloba, Alhaji Moshood Opebiyi appreciated the government for matching his words with action, saying that it had once again displayed its commitment to the welfare of the people.
Speaking in the same vein, another claimant Alhaji Silifat Oke, said the present administration in the state had always displayed its passion for the people, the gesture deserved commendation from all and sundry. Another claimant, Alhaji Usman Adebiyi said he was overwhelmed with governors gesture of coming personally to appeal to them before the commencement of the demolition, pointing out that the money paid by government would help him and others to embark on projects that would ensure their well being.
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