Enugu Govt Revokes Ubollo-Afor FG’s $8.5m VTA Investment Land

Enugu Govt  Revokes Ubollo-Afor FG’s $8.5 million VTA Investment  Land

·       Shippers’ Council not notified

·       Over 10,000 jobs lost

Enugu State Government has revoked the Federal Government official site for the establishment of $8.5 million Truck Transit Park (TTP) investment located in Ubolo-Affor, Udenu Local Government Area on account overriding public use.

MMS  Plus gathered that this development came as a surprise to the Nigerian Shippers Council(NSC) promoting the development TTP now called Vehicle Transit Area(VTA) in Nigeria because there was no prior discussion or correspondence before the action.

In a letter dated 5th March, 2024, and signed by the Permanent Secretary of the State’s Ministry of Land and Urban Development, Josephine Aniagolu (Rev. Sister), the government stated “ Recent inspection showed that  the above mentioned plot of land is not being used for Ubolo-Affor Truck Transit Park for which it was allocated.”

It further stated, “ You are therefore notified that after 14 days from the date of this letter, the Enugu State Government  will establish  right to revoke the land”

The title of the letter was worded like the state government needed the attention of NSC to discuss the  challenges associated with the project but it became obvious they wanted to repossess the 16.1 hectares of land at all cost, an inside source in NSC said, pointing out that the letter was dated 5th March,  with 14 days  window for discussion but the said letter got to the Council 5th June,2024, that is three months after.

The title of the letter read thus: “Intention to revoke and exchange letters in respect of land situated at Ubolo-Affor in Udenu Local Government Area”.

A VTA is a modern state of the art common user facility off the highway, where truck drivers can conveniently park their vehicles to refreshment and regain strength. It is designed to be a city in a state. Other opportunities it provides  a dedicated mega filling station, cargo consolidation facility, mega and multiple grocery shops, banks, hotels, organized logistics operators, mini-industries or MSME incubation point, training centre, mini-estate, among others

With the power granted the state governments to build railway within its domain, there is a possibility of upgrading from VTA to a dry port in the near future. The concessionaire can also generate own power within the complex and sell to occupants.

MMS Plus reports that the Ubollo –Affor VTA is the only one sited in the South-East among the originally approved eight VTAs across the country and governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi-led government provided the least land space among the eight location. Others, including Lokoja, Kogi State VTA has 40 hectares; Kaduna state has two sites fully developed by former governor, Nasir El-rufai; Kano integrated its VTA into Dala Inland dry port.

The management of NSC had said it is championing the development of VTAs across the country because trucks litter major highways in the country, wreaking havoc and hampering free movement of goods and persons, it is determined to improve transport infrastructure because the sector remains the main driver of the economy.

Ubollo-Affor VTA is one of the pioneer sites lucky to have gone through the procurement process of the Federal Government. It has an approved transaction adviser, Outline Business Case(OBC) approved by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission(ICRC)  with a concluded procurement process which produced a concessionaire.

Ubollo-Affor VTA, capable of generating over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, has the potentiasl of connecting the hinterland for export produce or cargo and services the North -east and North central market needs through land transport and rail system.

Findings by MMS Plus revealed that project concept ignorance and communication gap between the new State government officials led by Gov. Peter Mbah must have been responsible for the land revocation.

The absence of in-depth community relationship management of the local stakeholders who cannot distinguish between a dry port and a VTA fueled concerns, MMS Plus further reports.

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