To make way for the building of a 6-lane Ossah-Okpara square road in Umuahia, Governor Alex Otti of Abia State has approved full payment of compensation to the owners of 130 properties to be destroyed.
As of today, Friday the 22nd of September 2023, the government says it will begin sending payment credit warnings to property owners in the selected districts.
The State Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Chika Chukwumerije, delivered this announcement to the affected property owners at the International Conference Centre Umuahia.
He also said that the practice demolition will start in a few of days.
The Commissioner revealed that the compensation was going to be paid out in installments at first, but that Governor Otti had approved making complete payments to all affected property owners. He also said that the payments would be made according to the recommendations of estate valuers.
Only buildings that have been marked for destruction would be demolished, he reassured the property owners, and a list of those who will be financially impacted has been compiled.
Chukwumerije insisted that the demolition program does not want to evict residents of Umuahia but rather to make way for the city’s growth.
To safeguard the beneficiaries, he said, the specific sum to be paid to claims would not be made public.
However, after receiving their compensations, Chukwumerije urged the affected property owners to leave as soon as possible since bulldozers would shortly commence work.
Many residents of Ossah Ibeku, Isingwu Ohuhu, and the surrounding districts have already petitioned Governor Alex Otti for the funds necessary to construct new structures.
Additionally, they requested additional time from the Lands and Housing Commissioner to find new homes.
Mr. Kelvin Nwobiala, Mrs. Celia Onyebuchi, and Mrs. Sally Anyaso, among others, stated they supported development but asked to be compensated fairly and for the full market worth of their homes.