The Rivers State Executive Council has approved the acquisition of all undeveloped and uncompleted buildings in the old and new Government Residential Areas (GRAs) in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.
Also, briefing journalists, Commissioner for Housing, Tasie Chinedu Nwobueze said this while briefing newsmen after the Council meeting at Government House, Port Harcourt.
Nwobueze explained that the Council had observed the long abandonment of those properties without attention, which now serves as a hiding place for criminals and miscreants from where they constitute security risks to those who reside within the GRAs.
The Commissioner for Housing briefed further that the Council had also approved that when the plots are acquired, they will be reallocated to indigenes of Rivers State and other residents who are in the State who are capable of redeveloping or developing them within a timeline of 12 months.
“Again, leaving those plots overgrown with grasses have defaced the urban renewal programme which the State Government is implementing.
“And so, Council had approved that all those undeveloped plots and uncompleted buildings in Old GRA and New GRA be acquired.
“Monetary payment will be paid to the owners as agreed with the government.
“And again, Council also approved that those reallocated these plots cannot resell these properties to anybody and if they do, Rivers State Government will revoke such allocation.”
“The State Government took this decision having considered that the property will be better maintained by private investors. And that the funds invested by the Rivers State Government in reconstructing this seven floors building can be recouped from the sale of this property.
“And that the proceeds from the sales of this property can be judiciously put into the execution of the numerous ongoing projects by the Rivers State government.”
On her part, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Ifeyinwa Nwankpa, said Council also approved the sale of Delta Hotel.
She noted that the Catering Guest Houses are located in Ahoada, Bori, Degema, Elele, Isiokpo, Nchia, Omoku and Okehi, which have all become dilapidated, non-functional and used as hideouts for hoodlums.
“And so, it will be waste for government to pump in money into bringing them back to use by renovating these facilities.
“So today, Council agreed that we will call on willing private investors who will put them back to use and then renovate them for the use of our people, and it will also create employment for our teeming youths.”
Rivers State Executive Council also confirmed receiving a brief that only N2 billion and not the requested N2.5billion was eventually released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as its Healthcare Intervention Fund support to the State.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, Commissioner for Finance Isaac Kamalu said the money from the CBN has already been deployed.
“Council was briefed on the earlier approved CBN Healthcare Intervention Fund wherein approval was granted that the Rivers State Government access the CBN N2.5billion Healthcare Intervention Fund to the effect that the amount actually released by CBN is N2billion, not N2.5billion as requested.
“And that the N2billion has been utilised for the payment of contractors in the respective medical institutions for which approval was sort and granted.
“That is, the Prof. Kersley Harrison Hospital, Dental and Maxillofacial Hospital and Dr Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases Diagnostics and Treatment Centre.”