Abia State Governor, Alex Otti has approved the full payment of compensation to owners of 130 structures to be demolished in Umuahia for the construction of a 6-lane Ossah-Okpara square road in the State capital.

The government claims property owners in the designated areas will start receiving their payment credit alerts from today, Friday, the 22nd of September 2023.

The State’s Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Chika Chukwumerije made this known at the International Conference Centre Umuahia while addressing the owners of the affected buildings.

He also announced that the demolition exercise would begin in a few days.

The Commissioner, who disclosed that the initial plan was to pay the compensation in instalments, announced that Governor Otti approved that full payments be made to every affected property owner, explaining that payments would be given as recommended by estate valuers.

He assured the property owners that only the structures that are captured for demolition would be pulled down, adding that the list of affected owners has been put together to qualify them for financial compensation.

Chukwumerije said the demolition policy is aimed at developing Umuahia and not to displace villagers.

He pointed out that the exact amount to be paid to claimants would not be publicized, to protect the beneficiaries.

Chukwumerije, however, advised owners of the affected properties to relocate immediately after they received their compensations as bulldozers would begin work soon.

Earlier in their demands, many villagers from Ossah Ibeku, Isingwu Ohuhu and neighbouring areas, begged Governor Alex Otti to ensure that full payments are paid to them to enable them erect new buildings.

They also appealed to the Lands and Housing Commissioner to allow them some more weeks to relocate to new sites.

Villagers including Mr Kelvin Nwobiala, Mrs Celia Onyebuchi, Mrs Sally Anyaso among others, said they were in support of development but appealed that they are paid their compensation in full and also in accordance with the true value of their property.

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