• Friday, June 21, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Property, business owners get compensation as Enugu upgrades Holy Ghost Park

Property, business owners get compensation as Enugu upgrades Holy Ghost Park

Property and business owners affected by the planned upgrade of the Holy Ghost Motor Park in Enugu State to a modern transport interchange have been compensated for loss of their properties and business premises by the state government.

Authorities of the state government hope that the planned upgrade of the motor park, located on Market Road, Enugu, would change the state’s built environment landscape and also improve its economy.

Many of the affected business owners and other critical stakeholders, including the managing director of A.C. Decanal Company Limited, Ngozi Nnamani, have confirmed receiving the compensation.

Peter Mbah, the state governor, has assured that the state government is committed to completing the project in one year, pledging to grant all existing property owners, tenants, and business owners right of first refusal to own spaces at the mega terminal upon completion.

On their part, the stakeholders’ pledged their support for the project and Mbah’s government.

“Yes, he consulted us about this project. We were not exactly happy about it initially, but now we have seen that the project is a good one. If he will do it exactly the way he said it, that is to finish the project in the next one year, and reinstate us, that will be lovely.

“He promised to compensate us and some of us have started receiving the compensation. There is a temporary site he promised to give us in the meantime for anyone interested in that. We are told that it’s around the New Market area,” she said.

Nnamani recalled that during the campaign, they fought to make sure that a businessman like them won. “We are glad he won. We support the project fully. Once he keeps his word, we are happy. I see change coming into Enugu State; we may feel a bit bad now because of this, but I know that when the project is done, all of us will be happy,” she said.

The state’s Commissioner for Transportation, Obi Ozor, told newsmen that the state government had held extensive dialogue with the stakeholders on how to bring about an affordable, efficient transportation system, including road network and both bus and truck terminals.

He explained that the government was on the same page with affected tenants, businesses and property owners at Holy Ghost and had equally served them notice since October 13, 2023.

“The Holy Ghost where we are starting accommodates 41 percent of all the metro vehicular passenger traffic in the state. What that means is that about one out of two vehicles going out of Enugu passes through this place. And as you can see today, it is in bad shape. For over three decades, this place has remained like this. It is no longer working,” he stated.

Ozor added, “so, this is a dual terminal. One is for vehicles that are going out of the state. The other is for vehicles that are running within the state. So, if somebody is traveling to the airport and you are coming from Gariki, the vehicle brings you to terminal one.

From terminal one, you enter the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) that will drop you off at the airport. When you are coming back, it brings you back to this terminal and you enter the vehicle that takes you to Abakpa. So, it is two terminals and each of the terminals can accommodate over 1,400 vehicles. It has different routes for different locations.”

The commissioner revealed that Holy Ghost Central Station will be constructed simultaneously with the Gariki Central Station, Abakpa Central Station, and Nsukka Central Station, while those of 9th Mile and other critical areas would be coming up in the second phase.