By Sheila Offiong
Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has urged an estate development company to involve its host communities in the development of its estates in the state.
The company is working toward developing a 1,000 expanse of land to build what it called “Garden City’’ in Nasarawa State.
The project shall be executed in two phases.
“I want something that the communities in the area can have a sense of belonging; their feeling of belonging is security for your assets.
“Sense of belonging not in terms of buying the houses, but in employing the locals in the execution of the project.
“The people around that area are mostly involved in agriculture; it is in your interest to support them,’’ the governor told the chairman of the group of companies, Mr Kingsley Azonobi, who paid him a courtesy visit.
The visit was to discuss the ground breaking ceremony of the Garden City.
Gov. Sule enjoined the company to learn from occurrences in the oil-rich Niger Delta region where indigenes became restive because multinational oil companies operating there did not carry them along in their operations.
“One of the things that created a lot of problems in the region is that the oil companies built beautiful houses for their employees and just outside their estates you would see squalor.
“You would see ramshackle houses in which the people lived and you would hear them say it was their money the oil companies used in providing comfort for their employees,’’ he noted.
The governor promised to attend the ground-breaking for the Garden City to show people that the project has his full support.
“For the ground-breaking, I will be more than happy to come so it will be seen that I am part and parcel of the project.
“Projects like this, I always want to be part of because I am always proud to say we are bringing something like this to our state, and indeed to Nigeria.
“This is something that is going to bring a lot of value to our state, and the whole state will come in to witness the ground-breaking,’’ he stressed.
In his remarks, Ibrahim Abdullahi, Managing Director, Nasarawa Investment and Development Agency, thanked the estate developers for their interest in Nasarawa State.
Abdullahi expressed delight that the development of the Garden City would place Nasarawa State in a position to benefit from the booming estate development business.
He said the 1,000 hectares development would open up the state; create jobs and improve the economy and the livelihoods people of the state.
“Real estate is a sector that is booming in Abuja and we are happy that your group of companies is coming to Nasarawa State to extend the sphere of that business here.
“It is a huge development and it will expand our frontiers and connect us to the FCT better.
“Most importantly it will create jobs, create a hub in that area, so we are very excited to support this investment,’’ Abdullahi, said.
Earlier, Azonobi thanked Gov. Sule for granting him audience and for listening to his presentation on the Garden City Master Plan. (NAN)