By NewsCritic Reporters
The General Manager of Abia State Estate Development Agency, ABSEDA, formerly known as Project Implementation Unit, PIU, Sir Okey Ndukwe, has said that land allocations for estate development in the state is open to all Abians irrespective of social status or class. He added that all residents of Abia state are entitled to own a plot of land courtesy of the agency.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The NewsCritic editors in his new office in Umuahia recently, Sir Ndukwe disclosed that the agency under his leadership has been able to discharge its mandate well in acquiring plots of land from the communities and allocating to beneficiaries for the purposes of development of estates to carter for the housing needs of Abia state residents.
The General Manager further said that the agency under his leadership has revived some of the estates acquired and abandoned by his predecessors like the Ohiya-Amaudara estate, the Aba Obiuzor and Obehie estates etc. He stressed that he has been able to resettle some of the land beneficiaries who could not get their plots due to the issue of over allocation in the past, adding that all qualified beneficiaries have gotten their allocation replaced for them to solve the problem.
Said he “On over allocation we have been replacing for those who are ab initio qualified to solve the problem”. According to the GM, the agency under his leadership has been able to develop new estates and attributed the success he has recorded so far to the support being given to the agency by the Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, whom he said he owes a lot of gratitude.
He listed some of the newly developed estates to include the Amuzukwu Mbom, the Ohiya Amaudara, the Umuchime-Ossah, Nsukwe proper, Ohiya/Ubakala, the Afara-Ojukwu Bunker estate among others that are currently being developed in line with the agency goals.
The ABSEDA boss warned that beneficiaries of the land allocations have been given between September 2019 till December 2019 to start meaningful development on their plots or risk losing the land, as according to him the government is going to take action against them. He pointed out that favourable policies have been put in place to help the beneficiaries to develop their plots, because government will not allow a situation where after getting the allocations the beneficiaries will allow them turn to bushes.
“I want to say that some of the estates are picking up well, so by December our policy will become strict on enforcement. We don’t want anyone to let his or her plot remain undeveloped, Sir Ndukwe warned.
He thanked his staff members for being supportive, adding that he has made staff welfare a priority, a situation that has made their morale to be high for greater output. “By the grace of God we are not owing any staff salary, because our action governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has been supporting us and making things easier for us. So, for our staff members everybody is involved unlike what was obtainable in the past whereby agents were used to collect revenue”, he said.
NewsCritic reports that the new GM of ABSEDA has proved to be a progressive mind who has made a mark within the short space of time he came into office. Apart from prompt payment of staff salaries, Ndukwe has started and completed a new office building for the agency within his one year in office, a feat that his predecessors could not achieve.
Also plot of land allocation is made more open to all eligible Abia residents who are taking advantage of the opportunity to own houses.