Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Former Director of Child Development in the defunct Anambra State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development Sir Emeka Ejide has observed that land acquisition and surrender of land may hamper Governor Willie Obiano’s urban terminal projects across the state.
Ejide who made the observation in Awka on Tuesday while speaking on the on-going urban terminal projects being executed by the Anambra state government, stated that although the governor’s vision was commendable as the project would yield more revenue as well as create employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths in the state, he noted also that acquiring the requisite landmass for the project might be a hard nut to crack as land belonged to private individuals.
He explained that such laudable initiative wouldn’t be a mirage in developed countries because, according to him, land belonged to government and implementation of such projects would be a huge success.
The former Director who currently functions as Consultant on Child Protection noted further that the Igbo culture and tradition bestowed land ownership on ancestors and descendants and such practice he said was transferred from generation to generation such that it becomes pretty difficult for such land to be tresspassed upon. He pointed out that there might be lots of tussle and battle in the judiciary over land acquisition for the urban terminal projects.
Ejide however suggested that unless the Anambra state government came up with a legislation to back the project in the interest of the citizenry and also to facilitate compensation for those whose lands may be acquired by the state government in the course of execution, the project may suffer gross setback.
The Consultant on Child Protection also admonished that the terminals should be decentralized within the state even as he noted that some pertinent issues required urgent attention as it concerns location of the terminals.
According to him, every terminal required very large landmass, improved road network and also ensure enough mobility to discourage individuals from using their vehicles to such terminals.
Another salient point he raised was the sustenability of the project, noting that one of the basic infrastructural facilities very essential In the terminals was regular power supply. Others are water supply and security among numerous facilities to enable the project to stand the test of time.
He also harped on the need to educate the masses to Imbibe attitudinal change and equally protect and preserve government facilities for the benefit of all and sundry.