By Deborah Ukaumunna
Residents of Greenfield Estate, in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos, have inaugurated a new executive council to steer the affairs of the community and solve the myriad of issues affecting them, including epileptic electric supply, insecurity, poor drainage network, flooding, lack of streetlights and bad roads that have eroded the beauty of their neighbourhood and hampered economic growth in the community.
Greenfield, one of the biggest community development associations (CDAs) in Amuwo LCDA, is a bustling middle-class neighbourhood that is home to several hotels, plazas, schools and offices, but which in recent years has suffered from poor electric supply from Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC), sometimes going for weeks on end without electricity.
The residents’ hope for solutions to these challenges was rekindled as they inaugurated the new Greenfield Estate Executive Council, led by Monday Akunna, after winning the estate’s election with an overwhelming majority.
Akunna, who will be in office for the next two years, affirmed that he was ready to face the daunting task of leading the affairs of the community.
During his speech, the new leader said: “I have rolled out my 10-point agenda at the general meeting. I want to improve on the electricity; we don’t enjoy power here. I want to make sure we have steady power daily, at least 12 hours a day.”
Continuing, he outlined his agenda: “I want to improve security, which I have already kick-started and equipped. I want to make sure all the boundaries in Greenfield Estate are closed and sealed with barbed wires and gates. I want to ensure that the interlock in Greenfield Estate is continued until we tile all the roads in Greenfield Estate. I want to ensure that the people live in very good health. I have a health committee. I have a sports committee that will be taking care of our sports so that, soon, maybe in less than six months, we might be coming out in the Premier League of Nigeria.”
While noting that the estate was quite large, comprising 43 streets and more than 600 landlords, Akunna, the fourth leader since the estate became a CDA, said his ultimate objective was to restore the beauty of the estate: “We are creating a database. We have created 17 committees to help us take care of all the major problems we are facing in the estate. I have a revenue committee, electricity committee and special duty committee,” he disclosed.
Chigozie Njoku, the new PRO, corroborated his colleague, affirming that the new executive team was focused on achieving a turnaround of the community. The task before the executive council, according to him, was not impossible because of the unity that exists among residents of the estate.
His words: “It is the landlords that came in here and began to organize and develop this area. We lived together without minding anyone’s ethnicity or religion. We named our community, Greenfield Estate. We have achieved a lot because we are united. And I pray that God continues to keep us united. It is the unity that brought us together and we have been together as one family. I pray that this unity continues so that we can achieve more.”
Okeke Austin, the new financial secretary of the estate, pledged to use his experience as an accountant to manage the resources of the estate, “I want to see a total turnaround in terms of the management of finances, accountability and transparency. We want to ensure that all the money generated is used judiciously. We want to also trace and track all the income and ensure that we use it to beautify and make this estate a very good place,” he said, adding, “In the past, we found out that when you pay money into an account, it is difficult for the people working in the estate to confirm it. So, what we want to do now is to ensure that we put in place a system whereby once you pay, the people working will see it, give them some real answers so that they can get to know who has paid and confirm it.”
He also spoke of their quest to build a database of residents in Greenfield Estate.
“Barely 30 per cent of residents pay security levy because we don’t have a very good data system. We want to have an impeccable data system whereby we can get the database of everybody in the estate, both the landlords and tenants. With that, we track all the income. That will help to reduce the amount we will be paying,” he said.