National Assembly, Abuja
By Bennett Oghifo
A public hearing will hold Wednesday at the National Assembly on an allegation that the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development refused to sell a Federal Government property in Ikoyi, Lagos to the civil servant-occupants as stipulated by a Presidential Implementation Committee on the sale of Federal Government properties.
The civil servants, resident at a Federal Government building at 41 Alfred Rewane (Kingsway) Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, said they have been to court to get the Presidential Implementation Committee (PIC) to give them offer letters without success.
They then appealed to the National Assembly, which scheduled a public hearing on the matter for December 13, 2012, and adjourned it to today, January 16, 2013.
A civil servant, Rev. Yinka, who represents the families of 14 civil servants resident there, said they were worried that they could be ejected without notice, as allegedly threatened by the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple, who visited the property last week.
Regardless, a Special Assistant to the minister, told THISDAY that the civil servants’ fear of eviction was unfounded because the minister was doing all that was necessary to make them buy the property.
He said: “This problem has been on for several years but this minister (Pepple) went to the President to get an approval that the property should be sold to the sitting tenants. She directed the PIC to value each of the 14 flats and make an offer to each sitting tenant. They have the choice of first refusal. If the minister had other motives, as they alleged, then she would not have gone to the president to obtain an approval to sell to them.”
The minister, he said was surprised that the place was dilapidated and did not march the highbrow profile of Ikoyi.
Kenneth said the minister also visited other Federal Government properties in Ikoyi that had similar problems.
In 2005, the Federal Government embarked on the sale of its properties in Ikoyi, and in other parts of the country and, sitting tenants were given a choice of first refusal but the residents of 41 Alfred Rewane have been unable to buy theirs because of complications that led to the removal of a former Minister of Housing.