Chief Ike Obasi is the President General of Imo Community Assembly in Abuja. He is also the Managing Director, Ignobis Hotel Abuja. Recently, he outlined the decision of the Assembly to construct a massive estate in Owerri to be called ‘Abuja Estate’ for some reasons. DANIEL TYOKUA was there.
Disturbed by the increasing housing deficits across the country, Recently, in an interview, Chief Ike Obasi, an Abuja based business man said there is the need for individuals, groups to come up with new approach that would make housing available for the masses in order to have a roof under their heads.
This initiative, according to him, is on promoting mass housing that will be accessible by many as against the practice of only capitalists benefiting from government or corporate organisation’s housing scheme.
According to him, Imo Community Assembly (ICA) housing initiative is aimed at not only making a name out of the scheme but ensure that indigenes, both within and outside have a common ground and ultimately support the government by boosting its housing programmes and as well contribute to the idea of adding ambience to urban cities.
Obasi said the Assembly’s executives under his watch had in November 2016, approached the Governor, Owelle Rochas OKorocha, through a written proposal to make provision for a land in the state capital that would, at least, provide 5,000 plots of land for the planned ‘Abuja Estate’
The land, he said, will be allocated to people in the Diaspora and not only Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Imo residents.
Although, he said government should be responsible for roads construction as well as the necessary infrastructures, but the initiative of an ‘Abuja Estate’ in Owerri, though novel is a worthy initiative by his organisation.
“This will bring people home; a lot of people established businesses and stay outside because there is no place for them in Imo but with such an estate, many people will be ready to buy and develop them.
“If the state government allocates this land to us to build, many people will be forced to go to Owerri and build houses.”
On measures to check fairness in the scheme, especially to the members, Mr Obasi said, “The governor is someone who understands accountability; again, we have good people who will manage it. I’m going to be monitoring to see that no one gets more than one allocation.
“There are so many trusted academicians with business men that will be saddled with the responsibility of overseeing the running of the scheme.
“One particular thing we want the government to assist us to do better is to let the land be given to us to manage and not under the control of a body or groups. With this, we will manage it well and be sure that it gets to everybody”, he said.
According to him, even the government will benefit a lot as it will draw many people’s attention to the state which ultimately will speed up the space of development.
According to the Chairman, the Assembly’s expectation from the government is not only to provide plots of land but to also provide the basic facilities which, he said, would bring about speedy development.
“Government will give us plan base on what and how it would be in accordance with its template, taking into account the current realities.
Chief Obasi said the concept of ‘Abuja Estate’ to be constructed is for such to be allocated to people who are in the Diaspora and not necessarily Abuja residents but all Imo Indigenes residing outside the state.
According to him, the concept of naming the planned estate after Abuja, to be situated in Owerri is to lure many indigenes of the state to come and invest.
The prototype houses will be structured in a way that all categories of individuals would benefit ranging from one duplex, two and three duplex and more.
He said ultimately, the plan would pave way for the setting up of schools, markets, hospitals and shopping complex within the estate.
Chief Obasi also appealed to Gov Okorocha to expedite action on the plan.