By Emeka Anokwuru
Lagos State Government has assured residents of Katangowa, in AgbadoOke-Odo Local Council Development Area, host community of the new Computer Village, that their interest, whether personal or collective, will be protected even as plans are being concluded to flag off the project.
Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, WasiuAbiolaAnifowose, who represented Governor AkinwunmiAmbode at the strategic parley held at the LCDA headquarters, assured the stakeholders, landowners and those who operate business in the area that they will not be forced out until a befitting alternative has been provided for everyone. He explained that unlike a military regime where issues of human rights are dumped, a responsible civil government like Ambode’s will carry everybody along to ensure smooth relocation, justice and equity, in line with government’s resolve to turn the metropolis into a mega city and create a conducive environment for the urban dwellers.
Anifowose who conducted the meeting in Yoruba and English Language, allayed their fears about forceful ejection, compensation or demolition without alternative accommodation, while urging all those affected to submit their particulars to the LCDA, in order to have a register of those to benefit from the project insisting that this will enable government allocate stalls only to the rightful claimants.
He also disclosed that those relocating from Ikeja to Katangowa will not move in until the contractor has completed the structures, so as not to discomfiture anyone doing business either at the old or new location.
“A few months ago, when I came here and promised to build a flyover bridge at Abule-Egba to ease traffic and open up this flank, some of you thought it was impossible. But the bridge has been completed, and in record time, and based on that promise which has been fulfilled, I am here today in company of the Permanent Secretary and with the LCDA chairman as my witness, to announce Governor Ambode’s determination to build the new computer village in this area.”
Chairman of the LCDA, Mr. Augustine Arogundade said he was pleased to host the meeting and commended the government for siting the project in his domain. He pledged maximum collaboration with the stakeholders and the contractor in bringing to reality the new Computer Village in Lagos.
During a brief presentation, Mr. Jimmy Onyemenam, CEO Bridgeways DPG Limited, real estate developer handling contract of the new ICT market, gave a simplified account of the project, its scope, and size and the facilities that would be provided at the computer village. According to him, when ready, the Katangowa project would be the biggest ICT Park in West Africa and will offer over 4,000 shops, exhibition halls, hotel, shopping plaza, industrial park, warehouses, KeeKlamps (small shopping shades), a helipad, malls, banking halls, parking lots, conference centre, food courts, security and power, and delivered in a carefully laid out plan to remove the chaos currently bedevilling the Computer Village, Ikeja. Market women, leaders of trade unions, landlords, top government officials and various stakeholders attended the one-day meeting.
The Lagos State government conceived the new ICT Village 13 years ago, during the administration of Ahmed Bola Tinubu. The aim is to build a befitting market for computer business and afterwards, relocate the market from its present location at Ikeja. At the forum, Onyemenam presented the master plan of the new buildings designed to world-class standard. He said the new computer village is designed to meet the expectation and comfort of all occupants who want to do business in the Emarket. “The N20 billion project has 15 hectares of land, which has been earmarked by the Lagos State government in the Alimosho Local Government Area.”