Stories: Edward Nnachi
The management of Messrs New FESTAC Property Development Company Limited, the concessionaire of the FESTAC Phase II project, has warned people to desist from erecting illegal structures on the site. “Anyone erecting illegal structures on the designated land should remove them and desist from further encroachment. Such illegal structures will be promptly displaced or removed,” the Executive Vice-Chairman, NFPDCL, Mr. Isaac Chuks, said during a tour of the project. Chuks said over the years, there had been significant encroachment on the land by land speculators and illegal squatters.
“This trend has continued unabated in spite of all the caveats, publications and warnings. And not surprisingly, efforts to reclaim and develop the remaining 1,126 hectares of the FESTAC land since the early 1980s have been unsuccessful due to the huge capital cost to develop such land,” he said. The FESTAC Phase II project is a public-private partnership being driven by the Federal Housing Authority, with the NFPDCL as a special purpose vehicle, solely established for the reclamation, designing and construction of a modern city to be known as Imperial City on the 1,126 hectares of land left out of the Federal Government’s acquired 2,024 hectares for the hosting of FESTAC ’77.
The project was first advertised in 2006 by the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development through its implementing agency, the FHA, and was finally awarded to the New Festac Property Development Company Limited in April, 2013. According to Chuks, the project has left the drawing board and is already in progress with the dredging of a part of the development site. He said, “Work has already started on the site with the moving in of a heavy duty Swam Bugger by the dredging partner. This equipment is in position and expected to start operation within the next few days. And as part of the agreement, dredging and sand-filing will be handled by a Belgium firm, Dredge International, with many years of operational experience in Nigeria.
“It is projected that within the first year of operation, this development will generate more than 10,000 jobs, ranging from equipment operators to various engineering personnel; not to mention thousands of other ancillary jobs. By the end of this project, about 95,000 living apartments of various sizes and structures would have been delivered.” Chuks said that upon the completion of the project, billions of dollars would be injected into the economy through Foreign Direct Investment. He said as part of the continued negotiations, the Federal Government’s projected earnings under the concession were reviewed upwards prior to the award in April 2013 and currently stood at N25.765bn, as premium for the 30-year concession, and additional N150m annual ground rent with a moratorium of three years.