BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN
Efforts by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration to deliver affordable housing to residents in Edo State is becoming a reality, as land clearing and mapping have commenced for the development of the 1800-unit housing project by the Edo Development and Property Agency (EDPA), through a joint venture partnership with real estate firm, MIXTA Africa.
The project is being developed in Egba Community, off Upper Sopkonba Road, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area, Edo State.
Executive Chairman, EDPA, Ms. Isoken Omo, who was at the project site to monitor the commencement of work, at the weekend, told journalists that the state government will not relent in realising the project, to provide affordable housing in the state.
She noted that the clearing and mapping of the land are being carried out barely a week after EDPA signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project, to indicate the level of seriousness the state government attaches to the project.
According to her, “We are demonstrating our resolve and readiness to actualise the project to address housing deficit in the state, as no housing project has been carried out in the last 16 years. The project has been well-planned to provide affordable homes to people in the state.”
Omo said, “The project will include the building of affordable housing units ranging from bungalows to high-rise buildings with flexible payment plans. This is in line with the housing needs of people in the state. After studying the housing needs in the state, we knew exactly what to do to address the deficiency.”
Explaining that the state government acquired the land for the project some years ago, she noted that compensation has been duly paid to the community while farmers, who grew arable crops on the farm would also be compensated.
“The state government, out of its magnanimity, will be paying compensation to farmers with arable crops on the land. We have maps of the land acquired for the project, with details of what is on ground. The state government will use the map to identify affected farmers and pay due compensation. Farmers, whose crops are due for harvest would be allowed to harvest their crops.”
Project Manager for the housing scheme for MIXTA Africa, Mr. Livinus Onunaku, said the environmental and social impact assessment of the project has been taken into consideration, adding, “MIXTA Africa is passionate about completing the project, which is among several other projects we intend to execute in partnership with the state government.”
A community leader in Egba, Pastor Blessed Ehiwie, confirmed that the state government had paid compensation for the land to the community, but an enumeration of farmers with crops on the land is ongoing.
Some of the farmers, who were at the site of the project, also expressed appreciation to the state government for capturing them for compensation. Mr. John Ohenhen, who spoke for the farmers, said they were grateful for the government’s gesture.
BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN