The state Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Mr. Chaka Chukwumerije, stated this at the weekend during a town hall meeting with the affected communities and property owners held in Umuahia.
He disclosed the initial plan to pay compensation to the property owners was dropped after the governor rejected the idea when it was presented to him.
According to him, at the conclusion of the processes of enumeration of property, evaluation and identification of the owners, Governor Alex Otti directed that every identified property owner should be paid compensation in full.
He announced that payment of compensations would commence on September 25, adding that everything in connection with the issue of compensation has been transparently worked out to the last details.
The commissioner stated that the government would pay compensation on 130 properties that have been marked for demolition to pave way for the expansion of Ossah road to six lanes from express tower to Okpara Square.
According to him, “The process has started. Before, I said we will pay, but now we have started,” adding that the list of those to receive compensation has been uploaded and sent to the state Accountant-General for action.
He explained that after receiving their compensations, every property owner will be required to come back to the Ministry of Lands “for documentation” to prevent future claims.
The meeting, which was interactive, was attended by property owners from the four communities affected by the road expansion project.
The communities include Ossah, Umuoriehi, Mgbaja, and Amankwo, all traversed by the road leading from the “Tower of Peace” along Umuahia axis of Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway to Okpara Square in the capital city.
Apart from the commissioner for lands, the General Manager, Umuahia Capital Development Authority (UCDA), Mr. Kingsley Agomoh, and a representative of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice were on hand to address the concerns raised by the property owners.
A property owner and Ossah native, Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue, raised the issue of some property owners not yet captured for compensation, but Chukwumerije said such “exceptional cases” would be treated.