Enugu Residents Laud Govt’s Continuous Engagements With Property Owners Over Terminal Stations.

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continuous engagements by the Enugu State Government with property and business
owners operating in government’s premises at the proposed transport
interchanges in Abakpa, Gariki as well as Nsukka town, residents across the
stated have lauded the government for its liberal and humane approach to
dealing with members of the public.

commendations were made as another round of town-hall meeting was held with property
owners regarding the new transport interchange projects at Abakpa, Gariki, and
Nsukka on Monday at the Ministry of Transport, Enugu.

at the Ministry’s Conference Hall, the gathering included prominent
stakeholders such as traditional rulers, members of the House of Assembly,
transport operators, union leaders, captains of industry, and other property
owners. This significant milestone event is part of the ongoing stakeholder
engagement and public enlightenment for the Enugu State Transport Infrastructure
Project (TIP).

Commissioner of Transport, Dr. Obi Ozor, in his opening remarks, highlighted
Governor Peter Mbah’s vision of using transport and logistics as a catalyst to
transform the state’s economic landscape.

The proposed
project, part of the administration’s broader infrastructure enhancement plan,
seeks to address critical challenges in the transportation sector, including
traffic congestion, safety, road asset preservation, and efficiency

commissioner underscored the urgent need to develop supporting facilities such
as interchanges and logistics hubs amidst the ongoing expansions in road
infrastructure to improve the transportation network and meet current and
future demands.

Emphasizing the
project’s scope, he noted that the governor’s plan for the Transport
Infrastructure Project (TIP) extends beyond Abakpa, Gariki, and Nsukka and
includes the Holy Ghost Interchange (Enugu Central Station) in the first phase
and will also extend to other areas in the second phase.

According to
him, the new interchange will feature modern facilities such as lettable
spaces, ticketing halls, external bus shelters, a cinema, food courts, CNG
daughter stations, and a motel, benefiting all businesses.

However, he
disclosed the government’s concerns over the illegal practices surrounding
government-designated parks, explaining that the lands, initially earmarked for
public transport facilities to enhance traffic flow and service delivery as a
government-owned property, have been misappropriated by private individuals and
land grabbers.

Instead of
serving the community, he revealed that the plots have been converted into
private residences, shopping complexes, business centres, and places of
worship, thwarting their intended public use.

“The misuse of
these spaces has also contributed to hazardous road conditions. As traders are
forced into streets, safety concerns are heightened, and unsightly urban
environments are created. Such practices constitute encroachments, exposing the
public to various levels of danger and insecurity. He reiterated that the
Government is taking necessary steps to address these violations to
appropriately utilize public lands for their original purposes and help improve
urban planning and public amenities,” he added.

Highlighting a
specific case, the commissioner referred to the underutilized ultramodern
4,000-store capacity market in Nsukka, located on Aku Road. “Despite the
available spaces, many occupants in the designated project site have been
hesitant to relocate, partly due to a perceived lack of governmental initiative
to repurpose their current locations for the essential infrastructure projects
for which they are designated. Nonetheless, there has been some shift as some proactive
citizens, aligning with the Government’s vision, relocated in late 2023
following clear indications of the state’s determination to proceed with the
development of the transport interchange,” Obi further said.

While many
occupants have already removed their valuables from the three project sites,
the commissioner said the governor, in his benevolence, has granted an
extension of the deadline till Friday, 24th May 2024, to allow more people to
clear their properties.

commissioner also disclosed Governor Mbah’s directive on an independent
valuation of the impacted properties for further action, promising that
qualifying businesses could have the right of first refusal for available
lettable spaces upon project completion in 12 months.

In response, the
attendees praised the visionary leadership of Governor Mbah administration for
driving substantial infrastructure development towards positioning Enugu as a
top destination for business and investment, commending his humane touch in
engaging and sensitizing the affected parties.

They equally
thanked the government for its resolve to ease the impact of the project on
affected individuals through a coordinated compensation plan.

The people
equally called for increased police support in Garki, Abakpa, and Nsukka to
ensure the safe removal of properties and to deter potential theft by hoodlums
and scavengers.
The Government has pledged to take stringent action against any criminal
activities during the period.