By Bennett Oghifo
Most homeowners in 1004 Estate, Lagos are wondering how the facilities in the estate deteriorated so fast after some residents forcefully took over the management of facilities there from 1004 Estates Limited.
1004 Estate was sold by the Federal Government to a private concern during the regime of President Olusegun Obasanjo. The Estate took a whole new look after it was rehabilitated by the private enterprise.Â
In contrast to its sweet atmosphere fresh from rehabilitation, the Estate is a hot bed of management crises and failing infrastructure.Â
Some residents and owners plotted the takeover, complaining that the company did not render an account to them, that they were slammed with huge bills for services and were not given an opportunity to discuss the items on it or negotiate a best price for them.
Regrettably, some homeowners and residents are complaining that a worse scenario was playing out in the estate, which led to the dissolution of their executive committee and the appointment of a caretaker committee. The committee is now being accused of all sorts of misdemeanor, including inability to provide treated water, steady electricity, and security. The residents also complained that the committee does not give them reports, neither do they discuss with them before increasing charges.
Among the many features of the Estateâ€™s deterioration are alleged increase in electricity theft of which an unemployed foreign resident, who was said to have recently evaded arrest, is being accused; establishment of a parallel Association by a cell of radicals and protesters; a law suit by the power company whose contract was said to have been terminated in an opaque and questionable manner.Â
Some are proposing that they renegotiate with 1004 Estates Limited so that their lives and facilities can be restored to normal.
The storm in 1004 Estate has become a source of worry to many residents that their once endearing residential area would become too disreputable to attract the services of credible service-providers.
Meanwhile, the management of 1004 Estates Limited has promised to restore facilities in the estate to their original state, as soon as the residents and owners come to some form of agreement with them.
They reminded the residents of a 40-page service charge report and budgets emailed to them annually over the past four years and which are also available on the companyâ€™s website.
A statement by the management of 1004 Estates Ltd said in a statement yesterday that it â€œwishes to convey to its residents and stakeholders that the present situation of no water and poor unstable electrical supply on the estate due to the present mismanagement by 1004 HORA is nearing its end.
â€œThis group of persons who forcibly invaded the estate on 5th December 2015 has exposed residents to severe distress of persistent service failures whilst collecting service payments and having no interest in delivering any services.Â
â€œOnly two of the 12 indicted leaders that procured the illegal policemen for the forcible invasion of this group after investigations by the police have now been arraigned before a Lagos court for the criminal offence of forcible entry.â€
The statement said ten other persons (names withheld) â€œhave not deemed it fit to appear in court to answer to these charges whilst still in illegal continued occupation of the facilities and equipment of 1004 Estates Ltd.
â€œThese indicted persons and their agents and appointees are presently evading arrest and efforts by the police to effect their arrest yesterday were disrupted by those who are thus preventing our required access to repair these destroyed assets in our water and power plants in the estate.Â
â€œThe selfish actions of a few fellow residents now keep the majority of our residents in a state of perpetual distress without water and electricity or security and have led to several complaints that 1004 Estates Ltd honours our contractual obligations to provide services in the estate.Â
â€œWe expect to immediately replace once we are able to gain access to the damaged water treatment plant (which functioned under our management) and the damaged two of our five 200kva generators to immediately ameliorate the sufferings. We assure our residents that the asset replacement funds dedicated to effect this restoration are intact.
â€œThe personal motives and obvious financial compromises responsible for the sufferings being meted out to our residents despite the service payments made will be reasonably reconciled when our normally efficient services are resumed soon.â€Â