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Penthouse residents worry over lack of infrastructure

As it is the case with many estates in the FCT, the residents are embittered over the inability of the developer, Penthouse Properties Limited, to…

As it is the case with many estates in the FCT, the residents are embittered over the inability of the developer, Penthouse Properties Limited, to provide infrastructure like roads, drainage, refuse collection facility, water and security within the estate after they were asked to pay infrastructure fees running into millions.
The estate residents association has taken pragmatic steps to ensure that infrastructure is put in place within the estate. But this did not come easily as the residents have to dip  their hands into their pockets to get this done even as they keep pointing accusing fingers at the  estate developer who, they say,  is supposed to be chief manager of the estate`s  infrastructure.
 Speaking to the Daily Trust on the  state of affairs of the estate, Secretary of  Penthouse Residents Association, Barrister  Ezenwa Okoli, went down memory lane on how the estate was advertised in 2009 and a lot of  people bought land for  2 million naira and above.
 He said that each person was also asked to pay about 1.5 million naira for infrastructure which he said are lacking in the estate.
 He said: “Most of the houses here are built by individuals after buying the land from the developer.  Also, everyone is asked to pay 1.5 million for 3 bedrooms and 4 bedrooms are slightly higher. And having paid the fees, infrastructure is not in place. That is the key issue here.
“Because the fence is very porous Fulani herdsmen graze their cattle within the estate. So the struggle has been to get the developer to use the money we have paid to build the infrastructure in the estate. He has constantly complained that people have not paid but we do not believe him. We asked him to tell us how many people have paid as well as those who have not paid we, and as  fellow residents we will assist to talk to these people so that they can pay. He has not been forth coming in that respect.’’
Another issue the residents are having with the developer is that of security which they say  is better provided by the residents rather than the developer.
“Because we have been attacked on a regular basis by armed robbers we decided to engage vigilante at night. That left the security of the estate in his hand (developer) during the day while ours take charge in the night and then thieves started coming during the day, we have had 3 cases of  house break during the day. So we decided to take full charge of our security and we engage a security company who gave us uniformed security men who are all over the place.”
A total of 39 million naira is needed and it is being raised by the residents to get the access roads constructed. Already, their engineer has mobilised to site.
 Explaining their predicament over the poor state of road to the estate, Okoli said: “When we came to the estate the gate outside the adjoining ElSalem Estate was opened so we could drive through the road but now they want to build there because it is their territory. At a time they locked their gate and we couldn’t go out. We had to plead with them and they open the gate partially for us.  Faced with this unpleasant situation, we got an engineer to construct a road that will be neutral and will not pass through anybody`s estate as we have it now. We decided to task ourselves to get the new road that will connect us to the main road and in all this, our developer did not partake. The total bill that was given to us is about 39 million so we decided to task ourselves 100 thousand per household. Quite many people have paid and that is why we have been able to start the construction.”  
When Daily Trust visited the estate which is inhabited by more than 156 residents, the roads were seen washed away  but when contacted, the developer, Segun Ibukun, said both parties have agreed to meet soon.

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