By Laleye Dipo in Minna
Fifteen years after work stopped on the Muregi resettlement site, the Niger State Government has said that it will commence the development of the new community.
The Muregi resettlement site was established by the administration of the late Governor Abdulkhadir Kure when the first flood sacked the villagers from their ancestral home.
As a result, both the federal and Niger State governments pulled resources together for the construction of the New Muregi, but after over N100 million was reportedly spent, only the district head’s palace, a mosque and about two other buildings were constructed before work stopped.
However as a result of the recent flood which also affected the community, the state government has begun moves to develop the new Muregi with the main objective of moving the villagers in before next year’s rainy season.
The Commissioner for Lands, Alhaji Isah Kanko, told newsmen in Minna on Friday that the first stage of the resettlement programme would be for 13 communities.
Kanko, who did not disclose how much the project would cost the government, said officials of the ministry were already on the ground in New Muregi to carry out survey and put up a master plan.
He said: “The intention of government is to get the place ready before the next rains so that the villagers can move from the flood planes.
“After New Muregi, we will move to Ketso, the community of the state deputy governor, which as you know, was affected by flood.”
He said government would also carry out a design for New Bark town in view of the dredging of the Bark port.
Commenting on the non-payment of compensations to villagers displaced by the construction of the Zungeru hydro electric dam, Kanko said: “This government was not involved initially. It was when things got bad that they brought us in, it is a federal government scheme, I know they are working on it.”
The commissioner also disclosed that “the bonanza” introduced by the government to enable land owners get titles for their land had ended, adding that over 12,482 applications were received during the period, while 6,014 were processed resulting in an income of N445 million.