Res­i­dents fume over poor in­fra­struc­ture in es­tate

Daily Trust - - PROPERTY - By Lat­i­fat Opoola

Res­i­dents of Pent­house Es­tate, Lugbe, Abuja, are not happy over con­tin­ued ab­sence of es­sen­tial fa­cil­i­ties for con­ducive liv­ing at the es­tate.

As is the case with many es­tates in the fed­eral cap­i­tal city, the res­i­dents are frus­trated over the in­abil­ity of the es­tate de­vel­oper, Pent­house Prop­er­ties Lim­ited, to pro­vide in­fra­struc­ture, es­pe­cially in­ter­nal roads within the es­tate, after col­lect­ing mil­lions of naira from them.

The res­i­dents have com­plained that since they moved into the es­tate about eight years ago, they have not re­ceived value for their money in terms of in­fra­struc­ture.

The chair­man of the es­tate’s res­i­dents as­so­ci­a­tion, Ben Ig­bi­nosa, said since he moved into the es­tate in 2012, the es­tate has strug­gled with in­fra­struc­ture in­clud­ing roads, drainage, wa­ter, elec­tric­ity and se­cu­rity even after each house­hold was com­pelled to pay an av­er­age of N1.3m.

“I bought into the es­tate in 2011, I com­pleted my house in 2012 and moved in. As at the time I was mov­ing in, I had paid some money on in­fra­struc­ture but I was told I couldn’t do more un­til I cleared my in­fra­struc­ture levy which I also paid. And by the time I packed in there was no wa­ter, there were no roads, no elec­tric­ity and about 450 me­tre fence was not done. I used my gen­er­a­tor for one whole year,” he said.

He said the res­i­dents had to take prag­matic steps in en­sur­ing that they got elec­tric­ity by do­ing the Bills of Quan­tity for the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of the es­tate, be­fore the de­vel­oper was forced to fix the elec­tric­ity.

He said most of the houses were built by sub­scribers after buy­ing the land for an av­er­age of about N2m. The es­tate com­prises of about 400 houses.

Ig­bi­nosa said ev­ery­one was asked to pay the sum of N1.3m for a 2 bed­room apart­ment, N1.4m for a 3 bed­room apart­ment and N1.6m for a 4 bed­room apart­ment as in­fras­truc­tural levy, and that ma­jor­ity of the res­i­dents have paid yet they were forced to pro­vide some of the in­fra­struc­ture them­selves.

“When we kept on com­plain­ing about the state of in­fra­struc­ture in the es­tate and tried to get the owner of the prop­erty firm, Mr Se­gun Olu Ibukun, to use the money we have paid to pro­vide the in­fra­struc­ture, he then be­gan to com­plain that most peo­ple have not paid their levy. It was then that we re­al­ized that he granted a whole lot of waivers to some peo­ple. He granted con­ces­sion of N500,000 to about 100 peo­ple”.

Ig­bi­nosa who said the res­i­dents had ear­lier tasked them­selves and col­lected over N40 mil­lion to con­struct the ac­cess road to the es­tate, noted that the ma­jor worry for them now is the con­struc­tion of the es­tate’s in­ter­nal roads, stress­ing that they had to tax them­selves N800,000 each in or­der to do re­me­dial grad­ing be­fore the rains start. He how­ever added that the de­vel­oper has been send­ing text mes­sages to the res­i­dents telling them not to con­trib­ute and promis­ing that he would fix the roads.

“We re­solved to make con­tri­bu­tions to solve prob­lems rather than wait for him. That was what we did in the case of ac­cess roads, as the es­tate we were driv­ing through locked us out. We had to ap­peal to the ad­join­ing es­tate for pas­sage and we again taxed our­selves N100,000 each to do the 1.5km ac­cess road which we fin­ished about six months ago and which ev­ery­body uses to ac­cess the es­tate presently,” he said.

He said the de­vel­oper promised to start work on the roads (in May 2018) but “he never showed up.”

“What he said then was that he needed an ad­di­tional N250m and that if we could do ac­cess road on our own there was no rea­son why we could not join him to do the in­ter­nal roads.”

The res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tion chair­man there­fore in­sisted that the de­vel­oper should fix the roads since he has col­lected money for the in­fra­struc­ture, adding that if he can­not do that then he should al­low the res­i­dents sort it out with­out caus­ing con­fu­sion.

“All the prom­ises he made he has not ful­filled them. This is the eighth year. We can­not con­tinue to wait for him. We have de­cided to cut our losses and do some­thing about it. But he is now con­fus­ing the res­i­dents by telling them not to con­trib­ute,” he said.

Also speak­ing, an­other res­i­dent, Akin Ogidi, said he started build­ing his house in the es­tate when they started tar­ring some parts of the roads, think­ing the roads would be com­pleted.

“All of a sud­den they stopped the road work and it has been like that since 2011. By the time I moved in there was no light, there was no wa­ter and we kept mak­ing ef­forts for him (the de­vel­oper) to at least pro­vide wa­ter and elec­tric­ity for us, he didn’t pro­vide any. I had to get a bore­hole for my­self,” he said.

Ogidi noted that ef­forts had been made over the years to get the de­vel­oper to meet his own end of the bar­gain, but it ap­peared the de­vel­oper had de­frauded them.

Re­spond­ing, Se­gun Olu Ibukun, owner of Pent­house Es­tate Lim­ited, told our cor­re­spon­dent he will not com­ment on the is­sue, as the mat­ter was al­ready in court un­til the case has been de­ter­mined.

“Most of what they have told you is not true; they have just come up with their own sto­ries. When you talk about in­fra­struc­ture you are ba­si­cally talk­ing about the roads, elec­tric­ity and wa­ter.

“Elec­tric­ity and wa­ter have been pro­vided, part of the road has been pro­vided and we in­tend to start work on the road maybe by Fe­bru­ary. But most im­por­tantly I am not go­ing to talk about that any longer;, what I am go­ing to say is that we have a pend­ing mat­ter in court, it will be ir­re­spon­si­ble of me to dis­cuss any­thing con­cern­ing that un­til the court case is de­ter­mined,” he said.

The es­tate res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tion chair­man, Mr. Ig­bi­nosa, how­ever, said the is­sues the res­i­dents have raised had noth­ing to do with the court. He said, “the court cases we have against him are be­cause he was sell­ing off the green ar­eas and also be­cause he was mak­ing him­self the sole fa­cil­ity man­ager of the es­tate. Those are the two is­sues that are in court.”

Pent­House Es­tate in Lugbe

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