Land grabbers hinder estate housing delivery in Anambra

The Anambra State Housing Development Corporation (ASHDC) has lamented that activities of land grabbers have been hindering estate housing delivery to residents of the state.Mr Willie Okafor, Managing Director of ASHDC said this while defending the corporation’s financial transactions in 2019, before the State House of Assembly Committee on Public Accounts.Okafor said the corporation had installed measures to check the activities of land speculators in the state.Before I assumed office as managing director, the task of providing housing estates has been quite daunting. There were no housing estates being developed in Anambra because of the menace of land grabbers.

But we are trying to check them and we have started to pay compensation to some of them, so they won’t have any reason to stand in the way of the Government in providing housing to the people.It has not been easy providing housing estates but we are hopeful that before the end of this administration, we will deliver three housing estates.

We have finished with the Ngozika Phase-2 Estate in Awka, we have commenced work at the Green Valley Estate, just by Awka/Isuaniocha borders and we have entered the Liberation Estate at Enugu-Agidi,’’ he said.

The MD said the Government was determined to facilitate increased access to affordable housing in the state.On the corporation’s financial transactions for 2019, Okafor apologised to the committee that they were unable to reconcile and audit their records because of COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown in the state.

In a remark, Mr Somtochukwu Udeze (Ogbaru Il) and Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, while commending the corporation for its efforts, expressed dissatisfaction over the financial records.Udeze explained that the verification of the 2019 audited accounts of government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) was to ensure transparency and accountability in the utilisation of public funds.Public funds must be properly utilised and accounted for before the beginning of another financial year. For accountability and transparency sake, you should have verified your records before appearing before the committee.

We are giving you the opportunity to go and reconcile your financial transactions for 2019 and re-appear before the committee at a new date,’’ he said.Meanwhile, Managing Director/Superintendent-General, Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra State (OCHA BRIGADE), Mr Douglas Okafor, while rendering their financial accounts for 2019 said they need more funds to operate adequately across the state.

Okafor lamented: “the monthly one million naira that I receive as overhead is not enough to run my three zonal commands and the headquarters’’.In another development, the Anambra State Community and Social Development Agency, said it has completed about 181 projects out of 217 micro projects scattered all over communities in the state.The General Manager of the Agency, Mr Chudi Mojekwu said they were able to complete the projects through World Bank Assisted Programmes.

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