About twenty housing estates in Anambra State have been reportedly taken over by suspected land grabbers a development that has led to the resolve by the administration of Gov Charles Soludo to revoke land approvals yet to be developed between ten years and above.
Most of the estates are owned by the Anambra State government located in Awka, Onitsha, and Nnewi towns respectively as well as estates jointly owned by government and individuals.
This is coming as most alleged landowners have fled the area for fear of being prosecuted by law since they failed to present proof of ownership to the Anambra State Housing Development Corporation.
According to the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on housing Mr Erinne Onwumere who spoke to reporters at the Nigerian Union of Journalists NUJ 2023 Conference ;
“We inherited twenty-one Housing Estates when we came into office and out of them only two can be said to be functional while others are yet to be developed by the said owners”
“Most of the lands in those estates have been hijacked by people who have no documents to prove their ownership while others buy those lands and abandon them for years for those properties to appreciate and then sell them at a very high cost ”
“The estates in Onitsha and Nnewi have been taken over by private individuals who claim to be the owners of those properties and when you ask them to come with their papers you will not see them again ‘
“So this is no longer business as usual and we have as a government resolved to revoke any property that has remained undeveloped in the last ten years and above because the level of fraud in the system is worrisome and this cannot continue under our watch,” he said.