Bayelsa State Government has described the proposed launch of the New Yenagoa City project next week as a pragmatic step to ensuring controlled development of the state capital.
The state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon. Daniel Iworiso-Markson stated this on Wednesday while briefing Government House Correspondents on the outcome of the 109th State Executive Council meeting in Yenagoa.
Hon. Iworiso-Markson who addressed the press alongside his environment, trade and investment counterparts as well as the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, announced August 7 as the date for the launch.
According to the Government spokesman, the event would not only attract people from all walks of life but also feature the issuance of Certificates of Occupancy by the Governor to those who have already been allocated plots of land in the new city.
He said government was doing everything within its reach to enable Bayelsans and friends of the state who acquire plots in the envisaged highbrow area develop their landed property with ease.
“One of the things we must bring to the fore regarding the launch of the New Yenagoa City is the fact that we are going to have controlled development. As much as possible, the City as being envisaged will be one that will compare favourably with any of its kind anywhere in the world, given the amenities that have been provided there already.
“As you were told earlier, the 18-hole Golf Course is there. You have the Castle Hotel which is now rebranded and you also have the Polo Club which is at its final stage of completion.
“C of Os will also be issued for most of the plots on the day of the launch. We have over a thousand plots there. So, it is another way of generating revenue for our state. But more importantly, we have created a GRA that we all will be proud of.”
On security, he said Council totally condemned the killing of the two soldiers by some criminal elements at Azagbene Community in Ekeremor Local Government Area and the consequent sacking of the community by the military in a reprisal attack.
Hon. Iworiso-Markson, however, called on all leaders and the media to partner with government in sensitizing the youths on the need to shun criminal activities and their attendant consequences in the interest of peace and development.
“We all have our roles to play as religious leaders, community leaders, political or opinion leaders and even youth leaders by talking to our people. Because it is our people, the innocent ones, that suffer colossal loss whenever such senseless actions are taken by few criminal elements. The Odi incident is still very fresh in our memory.”
The Special Adviser on Security, Chief Boma Spero-Jack also condemned the Azagbene killing but noted that the military should have adopted a professional means of seeking justice in line with global best practices rather than sack the community.
He said the state government had already despatched a committee to carry out an on-the-spot assessment of the level of destruction in Azagbene as well as provide some relief to the people of the community.
On his part, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Ebipade Apaingolo noted that Council extensively discussed the flood alert issued by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), which had flagged Bayelsa as one of coastal states that will likely be flooded this year.
Mr Apaingolo however urged the people not to panick over the alert as government is putting proactive measures in place to mitigate the impact of the flood as predicted by NIMET.
The Environment Commissioner, who called on those living in flood prone areas to make preparation for early evacuation, assured that government would soon embark on opening up drains and canals in the state capital and its environs to enhance the free flow of water.
Also briefing the press, the Special Adviser on Trade and Investment, Mrs Funkazi Koroye-Crooks stressed that all Bayelsans are eligible to apply for land in the new Yenagoa City as there is no partisan consideration in the allocation of the plots.
According to her, the large expanse of land is situated between the Epie Creek and the famous River Nun could also be assessed through the new Onopa Bridge close to Government House which is billed for commissioning in September this year.