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Enugu To Pay Compensation To Holy Ghost Property Owners

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Ahead of the commencement of construction of a new and modern transport Interchange (bus terminal) at Market Road, Enugu (Enugu Central Station), popularly known as Holy Ghost, the leaser of properties at the site will, from Tuesday (today), start receiving their compensations as agreed with the Nigerian Railway Corporation, the lessor.

The commencement of payment was made known to the Enugu State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Obi Ozor, on Monday.

Recall that the Enugu State governor, Dr. Peter Mbah, had, on 19th October, 2023, met with critical property owners and stakeholders on the proposed Enugu Central Station. At the meeting, Mbah had explained that the proposed Enugu Central Station was part of the larger infrastructure plan, which also includes other major modern transport interchanges at Garki, Abakpa Nike, and Nsukka. The aim, he said, was to alleviate the perennial traffic congestion, enhance safety, preserve road assets, optimise transport efficiency, and address various needs of transport sector operators in the state. He, therefore, sought their cooperation towards the realisation of the project.

Citing similar world-class developments in other parts of the world like Dubai, and Singapore, among others, Governor Mbah said there was no reason Holy Ghost bus terminal could be allowed to continue in its present state of decay, perennial traffic congestion, and high-level crimes when such overseas feats could be replicated through conscious efforts and planning.

Sequel to the meeting, the Commissioner for Transportation had on 20th October, 2023 letter formerly notified each individual occupant over a six-month notice of the government’s intention to use the location, while the lessors, the Railway Property Management Company Ltd. equally served the leasers notices of recovery of property to the on 22nd April, 2024 in line with their term of the lease.

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In a copy of one of the letters by Railway Property Management Company Ltd. entitled “Notice of Recovery of Railway Land Along Market Road, Enugu”, referenced as T/P. 1794/VOL.1, signed by the Director of Land and Estate Services, A.O Abdulsalam, for the company’s Managing Director, it said the Federal Ministry of Transportation had agreed to release the said portion of Railway land to the Enugu State Government for a modern bus terminal.

The letter reads in part: “We refer to your lease of Railway land along Market Road, Enugu with Ref. No. T/P. 1794/VOL. 1 dated 02/08/2017.

“Please, be informed that the Federal Ministry of Transportation, on behalf of the Federal Government has agreed to release the portion of the NRC land, which was earlier allocated to you as referenced above, to the Enugu State Government to construct a modern transportation hub under the Transport Infrastructure Project.

“In line with our contractual agreement, the Enugu State Government has agreed to compensate you for the structures (s) constructed on the land based on an independent valuation of your structure on the land.

“Therefore, you are kindly requested to provide us with your account details through our Enugu Zonal Manager on or before 26th April 2024 to enable the Enugu State Government to credit your account with the necessary payment.

“Furthermore, as a kind gesture, the Enugu State Government has agreed to do the following: To provide you with an alternative temporary location to ease your business pending when the project is completed; to also give you the right of first refusal to return to the newly completed structure.”

Throwing more light on the development, Enugu State Commissioner for Transportation, said the temporary places had since been allocated to the affected businesses, with some already developing the new place.

But importantly, I can say with certainty that they will start receiving alerts latest from Tuesday based on the compensation advisory sent to the state government by the Nigerian Railway Property Management Company Ltd. These are huge sums of money, but we have to do it to ameliorate the temporary inconveniences,” Ozor stated.

Meanwhile, at the meeting with Governor Mbah last year, the property and business owners, in addition to legitimate tenants numbering over 29, commended the project.

The event was attended by the owners and representatives of Anaocha South Mass Transit, Chisco Transport Company, Onitsha South Mass Transit, Farm Associates Limited, Dozie Oil Limited, A.C. Decanal Limited, Harco Oil, Pilgrimage Sisters (Osisatech), Okeyson Transport Limited, MDS Logistics Limited, Beach Crushers Association, FCMB, and Ecobank, among others.

Also, during a visit to Mbah in November to better know the project, the Chairman/CEO of Chisco Transport, Chief Chidi Anyaegbu, lauded Governor Mbah for taking responsibility to build such an important transport infrastructure that was always overlooked.

Anyaegbu said the ultramodern terminal would benefit various players within the transport sector and beyond, pledging his total support towards its speedy realisation in a record time.

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