Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 27 July 2012 | 4,970 times
The first government-owned elite housing estate in Abia State was inaugurated yesterday. Senate President, David Mark, inaugurated the estate named after the host community, Amaokwe.
Foundation of the 56 units housing estate comprising 4-bedroom and 5-bedroom duplexes, an exclusive preserve for the super-rich, was laid during the first hundred days of Governor Theodore Orji’s first tenure.
It could not be realised during that tenure as the contractor handling the project in line with the Public/Private Partnership (PPP) policy of the state abandoned it.
Narrating the history of the housing estate located on Adelabu Street in the heart of Umuahia, Governor Orji said government funded the project.
“We initially started on PPP but it did not work out. It was a complete failure because the man we partnered with absconded on his own for reasons best known to him,” Orji said.
“We took up the challenge and said no, this estate must exist. So the estate you see here, we built it with government funding. We did not borrow money. As we were building, people were subscribing and today all of them have been completely taken over by their owners,” the governor added.
He said government was building several housing estates, including a 300-unit housing estate for civil servants which foundation stone was laid last week.
He added that when civil servants transfer to the new secretariat under construction, their current offices would converted to housing estates to enhance the aesthetics of the state capital.
Commissioner for Housing, Chief Iheanacho Okezie Orji, said the estate was unique as it represented a paradigm shift from the status quo.
“Hitherto, the whole of Abia State had no estate of this class,” the commissioner noted.
Inaugurating the estate, the Senate President remarked that “housing is a very crucial aspect of our national development.”
“Housing and food are major areas where we need to concentrate and for you (Governor Orji) to have put up a project like this, with all the supporting infrastructure already in place, is clear indication that you are focused and you know where you want to take Abia State to,” Mark added.
He said the prevailing security which has engendered peace coupled with the governor’s ability to weld people of the state into a united, political family have made development of the state possible.
*Photo shows Governor Orji (right) with Senate President David Mark during the commissioning of the estate.
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