• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Delta to boost tourism, urban renewal with Asaba waterfront city

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Delta State Government has said that the move to develop the Asaba Waterfront was geared towards effective urban renewal and boosting the tourism potentials of the State in order to increase internally-generated revenue.

Kingsley Emu, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), stated this shortly after a meeting with representatives of host communities of the Asaba Waterfront Development Project and the project consultants.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, Emu said the Asaba Waterfront City project, which was initiated three years ago and located along the banks of the River Niger, was designed to be Africa’s newest upscale, smart and tech-driven city.

He said the project is a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) venture, between Delta State Government, which owns 15%, Asaba communities which have 5% and private investors, who hold 80%, adding that the project is to be financed through a combination of equity and debt capital in addition to pre-sales financing.

He said, “About three years ago, we started this journey of Asaba Waterfront Development Project. We acquired about a 1,000 hectares of land and they were broken up into two: one was given to North China and another section was given to Falkland.

“The whole idea is a PPP. For me, the people wanted to, on their own, start giving out the land and they started going into private arrangements and agreements with some developers.

“We figured out that it was going to cause a lot of urban slum and create a lot of security issues for us, especially during the allocation. So, we sat down and decided that we should acquire that entire 1,000 hectares of land.

“In compliance with the Land Use Act, we allowed everybody who had interest in that area, published in critical newspapers, to come over and express their interest through a memorandum.

“We got a lot from dufferent people and we sat back and identified all the communities involved. We moved in to call in consultants to come and look at the entire area and scoop for compensation, and ensure that all the parties involved, remotely or otherwise, must be captured.

“The compensation sum was determined. Shorty before then, was election and that was halted for this. But before then, in our process of engagement, we told the communities that there are three parties to the business.

“First, is the developers who are very formidable and have a pedigree. They are to have 80% of the entire investment. Government was to have 15% and the community was to have 5%.

“Here is the logic; it is a modern city and part of our urban renewal plan. So, what we needed to do in that area is to sand fill; take out all the rubbish, and fill them, allow them to settle and build a world- class infrastructure.”

According to Emu, Delta State Government was making lots of sacrifices to ensure the project came on stream to ensure real urban renewal in the area.