As part of its industrialization drive, the Imo State government said it has allocated lands to Dangote Group of Companies, Messrs Katec industries Ltd and Rhas Quarry and Concrete Ltd to establish their plants in Owerri, the state capital.
The state Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Planning, Mr. Uche Nwosu disclosed this at a press briefing in his office.
According to Nwosu, allocating the lands to the three biggest companies would afford some percentage of the people of Imo State the opportunity to benefit as the companies have the capacity to generate employment and cause other industries to spring up in the state.
The commissioner also disclosed that since he assumed office a few months ago, his ministry had acquired tens of thousands of lands for development.
This is even as he disclosed that the ministry under him had paid a total of N119, 969664 (one hundred and nineteen million, nine hundred and sixty nine thousand six hundred and sixty four naira) compensation to communities whose lands were acquired by the state government and people whose buildings were demolished including churches.
According to him, N22.6 million was paid to the native land owners of Area T measuring 57,274 hectares and that N14.2 million was paid to the native land owners of Central Market/Motor Park in New Owerri as well as payment of N25.6 million to the native owners of the site designated for Remand Home, New Owerri.
Among the people the ministry compensated are owners of the 22 demolished churches along Dee Sam Mbakwe Road to whom the commissioner said were allocated plots and paid N10 million to resettle as well as compensating owners of demolished properties along Nekede/Nworie River area built on designated Green Belt and native land owners of the remaining Nworie North Layout to the tune of N39 million and N8.5 million respectively.
The commissioner disclosed that he had commissioned the printing of 50,000 certificates of occupancy to enable the people of the state get lands for their personal, commercial and industrial development.
He said his ministry has the intention of ensuring that all strata of people in the society get land but lamented that the activities of some few rich men who use several names to get as many plots as possible make it difficult for the objective to be achieved. He listed criteria for the people get land from the government to include application for forms with the sum of N25,000, N50,000 and N100,000 for residential, commercial and industrial plots respectively.
Mr. Nwosu said that his ministry through the Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) was still involved in demolishing illegal structures and warned all owners of houses built on illegal areas to pull them down or expect the demolition.