As part of ongoing efforts to revamp the estate development and housing sector in the state, the Edo Development and Property Authority (EDPA) has commenced the recertification exercise for legal occupants of government-owned estates in Benin City, the state capital.
The recertification exercise, which commenced on Monday, November 27, at the Andrew Wilson Housing Estate, Evbuoriaria, off Sapele Road in Benin City, will be carried out across all EDPA estates in the state.
The exercise will enable the state recover rents from the legal occupants of the estates and build a database for decision-making.
Executive Chairman, EDPA, Isoken Omo, said “The exercise is important because the agency needs to update its records of legal occupants of the estates. It will provide up-to-date information that will help in planning and further development work in the estates. With this, we will identify occupants who have completed necessary payments to enable the agency give them documents that will authenticate their ownership of the units they occupy.”
Omo commended residents of Andrew Wilson Housing Estate for their cooperation with officials of the EDPA, which made the recertification exercise easier, adding “Residents of the state were prepared for the exercise even before the commencement, which is a good sign. This enabled EDPA achieve 60 percent compliance on the first day of the exercise.”
She, however, frowned at some residents who violated the original estate plan, noting “any property violating the original plan of the estates will be removed. Nobody will lose his original property in the ongoing exercise, but the additional attachment which is against the original plan must give way. Owners of buildings that violate the original plan ought to have sought approvals before altering the original plan for the estate.”
An estate resident, Mrs Joy Sule commended the EDPA for the exercise, which she said was long overdue.
“I am pleased with the conduct of staff of the EDPA and their approach to the exercise. This is the first time such exercise of this magnitude is being carried out since my husband acquired this property, she said.”
Another occupant, Destiny Izevbekhai, described the exercise as a welcome development, as it has assured residents that their properties are safe and secure.
He said: “It was hectic to get the entire documents required for the recertification exercise because the property was acquired by my late father. But I am pleased with the way the exercise is being conducted and expect that it will bring about positive change in the estate.”