Miscreants take over construction sites in Delta’s Okpanam community
Property developments in Okpanam, a community near Asaba, the Delta state capital is suffering major set backs following take over of construction sites by miscreants.
The Guardian learnt that continuous reported cases of intimidation, disruption of ongoing building projects, infliction of injuries and seizure of working tools of developers and workers is really affecting housing development in the area.
It was learnt that youths from the community forcefully disrupt works at the project sites and illegally demand for development fee. The endless list of fees, property developers said come at every stage of construction, from foundation, lintel, decking, roofing, borehole, ‘umuada’ levy and students levy
Recalling his experience, a developer, Mr. Chuks Okobah, said after paying thousands of naira on foundation stage, youths descended on his workers and stopped works on his site.
He alleged that some of the elders in the community were in support of the ugly act.
Another victim, Mrs. Ngozi Emordi, a civil servant in the state, decried the seizure of the work tools of workers at the project sites by land speculators.
The sad experience, she said, is frustrating and reducing the pace of growth and housing development in the state capital and environs.
According to her, people are compelled to spend a lot of fund, more than they paid for acquiring the land, before completing their projects.
Also narrating his ordeal, another developer, Mr. Chike Ike, lamented the act of vandalism and infamous trend of selling of a plot of land to multiple buyers, a fact, which has necessitated series of legal battles and, some time, death, out of frustration.
Ike expressed vexation at the action and called for the intervention of state and the traditional rulers to sanitize the property development, adding that the activities were discouraging developers from investing in the affected areas.
The State Commissioner for Lands, Urban Development, Mr. Chika Ossai who confirmed the development, said measures are being taken by the government to ensure the “hoodlums” are brought to book. “We are working hard to eradicate the miscreants for peace to reign in Okpanam,” he added.