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Greater Port Harcourt city phase I gets five-year completion period

By Kelvin Ebiri, PortHarcourt
22 June 2015   |   3:16 am
THE new management of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority (GPHCDA) has promised to complete the phase one of the new city within the next five years
 Greater Port Harcourt City Master Plan

Greater Port Harcourt City Master Plan

THE new management of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority (GPHCDA) has promised to complete the phase one of the new city within the next five years.

The Wike led government is set to tinker with the contractual obligation, communities have had with the GPHCDA and Rivers State to ensure that land owners are properly compensated

And to ensure that safety of those who will be involved in the development of the new Port Harcourt city, the GPHCDA is to liaise with the State Police command and other security agencies to provide round the clock security surveillance.

The administrator GPHCDA, Desmond Akawor, who made the pledge during a tour of the new city, said the Rivers State government is determined to ensure that within the next  five years, areas covering  Omagwa and Iguwuruta, which is  in the Phase one is completely built up area.

In addition to this, he said the business area, especially the golf course under construction as well as the road leading from the airport to Obiri Ikwerre interchange on the East-West Road will also be completed.

Akawor who was former minister of state Federal Capital Territory, expressed delight over the completion of the temporary bulk water supply plant and  the 33 KVA electricity supply substation contract projects.

He however, observed that there is problem with the water project in terms of reticulation that has not been completed, adding that the management will ensure that the contractors return to site and complete the work.

The New City master plan covers Port Harcourt and parts of seven other local government areas, namely Obio/Akpor, Ikwerre, Etche, Oyigbo, Eleme, Okrika and Ogu/Bolo. It occupies a land area of 190,000 hectares (about 1,900 sq. km) with a projected population of two million.

The administration explained that the government believes that Port Harcourt city should be expanded as clearly articulated in page 21  of the blueprint of the new Rivers vision of Governor Nyesom Wike.

According to him, the Greater Port Harcourt city will give the people of the state a taste of what a Garden City ought to be like, even as the government will pursue the urban renewal programme that will restore the lost glory of old Port Harcourt city.

He explained that the new management of the GPHCDA as part of its strategy to change the one city status of Rivers state, will intensify effort to ensure that a cosmopolitan city emerges around the Eleme and oil and gas free zone, to enable people work, live and play within that area.

But to achieve this, he said the first phase one must be completed so that the state can easily win the confidence of investors whose participation is crucial to the realization of the dream for a new Port Harcourt city.

Akawor who ordered the relocation of the secretariat of the GPHCDA to the new city within the next four months, revealed that the new management might alter the design of the city based on the resources available to the state and investors.

He then urged contractors who had left site for inexplicable reasons to resume work immediately as the management is bent of meeting its five years target  “We do not have time on our side. The contractors should come back to site and get their job done.

And those who are not really not comfortable and getting things done should give us the signal before we are after them.

Because those who are not interested in getting things done, we will tell them how those who runaway with government money are being treated” he said. He further added: “for me there are issues that are not comfortable, but until I get the details.

I have not heard from the contractors. They may have their side of the issue, but from reports from the staff, there are areas I am not comfortable with. Road work are not completed but I need to know from the contractors”.

On complaints of inadequate compensation for land acquired from communities by the state government for the new city, Akawor said whatever contractual obligation the communities have had with the GPHCDA and the Rivers State government, will be reviewed to ensure that they are properly compensated.

According to him: “it is our desire that if you collect a property from an individual for public use, it should be put into public use. But you cannot collect property from an individual at the cost of N300, 000 and you sell it to another at the cost of N1.5 million”.

He explained that Governor Wike has made security one of his top priority, hence the state police command and other security agencies will be providing a round the clock  security surveillance for those who will be working in the development of the Greater Port Harcourt city.