Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, has given his approval for the full payment of compensation to the owners of 130 structures that are slated for demolition in Umuahia.
This demolition is part of the construction plans for a 6-lane Ossah-Okpara square road in the State capital. According to the government, the property owners in the designated areas will begin receiving their compensation through credit alerts starting from today, Friday, the 22nd of September 2023.
The State’s Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Chika Chukwumerije, made this announcement at the International Conference Centre in Umuahia while addressing the owners of the affected buildings. He also mentioned that the demolition process would commence in a few days.
Chukwumerije revealed that the initial plan was to pay the compensation in instalments. However, Governor Otti has approved full payments to every affected property owner, following the recommendations of estate valuers. He assured the property owners that only the structures designated for demolition would be pulled down and that the list of affected owners had been compiled to qualify them for financial compensation. Chukwumerije emphasised that the demolition policy aims to develop Umuahia, not to displace its residents.
The exact compensation amounts will not be publicised to protect the beneficiaries, according to Chukwumerije. He advised the owners of the affected properties to relocate promptly after receiving their compensation, as the bulldozers would soon begin their work.
In their requests, many villagers from Ossah Ibeku, Isingwu Ohuhu, and neighbouring areas urged Governor Alex Otti to ensure that full payments are made to them to enable them to erect new buildings. They also appealed to the Lands and Housing Commissioner for additional weeks to relocate to new sites. Villagers, including Mr Kelvin Nwobiala, Mrs Celia Onyebuchi, Mrs Sally Anyaso, among others, expressed their support for development but requested full and fair compensation in line with the true value of their property.