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The Ogun State Government says it will soon commence demolition of structures inside the Government Residential Area (GRA) Ibara occupied by civil servants in the state to give way to a smart city.

The State Commissioner for Housing, Jamiu Akande Omoniyi, who stated this while speaking with newsmen shortly after on-the-spot inspection of some houses marked for demolition within the GRA Ibara, said the demolition will signal the beginning of the GRA Regeneration Programme initiated by Governor Dapo Abiodun-led administration.

Omoniyi disclosed that he had earlier paid a similar inspection visit to the Annex of the Government Technical College, Idi Aba, where no fewer than 33 housing units sitting on about 7 hectares of land, will be pulled down as part of the regeneration programme.

He added that he was accompanied on the visit by the Head of Service in the state, Kolawole Fagbohun and General Manager of the Ogun State Housing Corporation, Wale Ojo, to also monitor of compliance with the evacuation order issued by the state government to civil servants residing in the housing units.

According to him, old and dilapidated structures sitting on 30 hectares of land located in a prime area such as GRA Ibara and occupied by civil servants, will be reconstructed to turn dilapidated government assets into a smart city within the belly of Abeokuta, the state capital.

Omoniyi explained further that with the regeneration programme, a total ecosystem will be created to ensure everything needed by residents to make decent living is provided inside the GRA.

He disclosed that the governor, however, has issued a directive that civil servants at different income levels should be given consideration in the new scheme, saying a wide range of opportunities such as rent-to-own, outright purchase and mortgage, have been put in place in order to make public servants benefit from the new scheme.

“We are here on the directive of the governor to kick start the regeneration programme of Ibara GRA and the government housing units at Idi Aba, Abeokuta. We have gone round and we saw that the occupants of these houses have heeded the vacation notice. Now, we are ready to commence the demolition of the old and dilapidated structures, and begin planning to build smart cities within the Abeokuta metropolis. For clarification purposes, GRA Ibara does not belong to the civil and public servants in the state.

“At the inception of the creation of Ogun State in 1976, this location provided shelter for the civil servants of Ogun extraction who were coming back from the defunct Western Region. But, we realised that this prime location was being under utilised, that is why the incumbent administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun in the state summoned political will to reinvent and redevelop this place in order to harness its potentials for the benefit of the Ogun people, and to create values for the decaying assets of the state government.

“Numerically, Idi Aba housing scheme is sitting on 7.5 hectares of land, while GRA Ibara is sitting on nothing less than 30 hectares of land. And we believe that as we move on with this project, we will discover some hidden or encouraged portions of the land. Within Abeokuta alone, we are talking about 40 hectares of land to play with. There are similar schemes in Igbeba in Ijebu Ode, Ota and Ilaro. For now, we are starting with Abeokuta, then, we will move to other locations where we have the state government’s assets being wasted away.

“Meanwhile, Mr Governor out of his magnanimity and empathy, has directed me to prioritise the request of the civil servants in the allocation of houses in this regeneration programme. Don’t forget that some of them have benefitted from other housing schemes such as Kobape, Kemta, Ilaro and so on, that this present government has done. For those who missed out on those ones, I have the directive of the governor to absorb them immediately in this new scheme. We have a wide range of opportunities such as rent-to-own; outright purchase and mortgage through Gateway Mortgage Bank.

“The practice before now was for civil servants to live here and get evacuated after retirement. But, this new scheme will allow for mortgage and the houses can be paid for while still in service. What we are going to do here, which is a common patrimony of the Ogun State people, will cut across all the cadres of income levels. We will accommodate everyone – commercial, residential and institutional. We are creating smart cities where people will live, work and play. We are creating a total ecosystem to ensure that everything you need to make a decent living is found inside of our GRA”, the Commissioner submitted.

On his part, the Ogun State Head of Service, Kolawole Fagbohun, said “we are supporting the decision of the state government to turn waste to value. And this is why we have appealed to our members to cooperate with the government and make the project a reality.”

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Laide Raheem

Quelle/Source: The Sun, 08.11.2023

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