The Imo state commissioner for lands, survey and physical planning, Hon Noble Atulegwu has dismissed the allegations that the government is engaged in grabbing lands belonging to individuals and communities without proper compensation. Addressing Guild of Imo Field Journalists who paid him a courtesy visit in his office on Monday, the commissioner disclosed that every land in Imo state belongs to the Government and will be used for the overriding interest of the public as stipulated by law.
The commissioner noted that the Ministry has been in the news for grabbing land from individuals and communities for it’s selfish interest but noted that most of these lands, in Avu, Okuku, Amawom, Awa and other areas under dispute are actually government acquired lands which some members of the communities resale to unsuspecting individuals who eventually results to conflict. He therefore urged Imo citizens who plan to acquire a land to make proper search to ensure the land is not owned by the government to avoid issues in future.
He explained that it’s only the Ministry of lands that is empowered by law to acquire land and can allocate such to other agencies and no other agencies is permitted to do so which he said is an aberration. He noted that the Ministry does not cut corners but follow due process to acquire lands for development by the government.
He disclosed that there is an ongoing plan by the Imo state government to disburse lands to interested individuals. The process has commenced as people pay about 100,000 naira to be able to qualify to acquire Land which will be allocated by the government to those who purchased the form.
The commissioner also seized the opportunity to caution journalists against writing unconfirmed news stories but urged them to do proper investigations and fact findings before publishing their news. This he said is detrimental to the progress of the government.
On the issue of relocating the Nekede Zoo, the commissioner explained that the state government has allocated land for the relocation of the Zoo as he disclosed that the zoo is not supposed to be sited in an area where people are living within the environment.
The honourable commissioner, also seized the opportunity to reassure the public that the government will do everything within its means to bring peace and harmony in the communities and urged all hands to be on deck.
He further maintained that the Ministry has increased its revenue generation to the state government and promised to achieve more.
He therefore thanked the state governor for his numerous infrastructural development round the state and prayed for his re-election during the Nov 11 governorship election.
The leader of the group, Mr Kelechi Ugo while commending the commissioner assured that the Imo journalists will cooperate with the Ministry in its activities and would report objectively. He noted that the visit is an opportunity to interface with the commissioner to enable journalists know it’s modus operandi and look for ways of partnering with them