Samuel Ogrih is the managing director of Mega Trend Investment Company, owners of The Plantation Estate, Warri. In this interview, he says lack of decent accommodation in the ancient city made him to give the city a befitting accommodation
WHATÂ brought about this project and why Warri of all place?
Warri has been commercial nerve centre of Delta State from time immemorial. It is the bedrock in terms of commercial activities. It is the business place of Delta State because this is where you have all the oil companies, oil servicing companies, the banks and others. You can have a dull moment in Warri because there are as lot of activities there because I think Warri should have a befitting housing estate that will accommodate all interests. The accommodation we are talking about is such that when completed will be compared to any one in any part of the world. Above all we want to have a well secured estate such that as you are driving in, you know you are home. I am from Delta and I think like a Deltan, one needs to go home once in a while to be part of the development taking placeÂ there more so when the federal government with the state government and the local government, through the amnesty have succeeded in restoring peace to all parts of the region. Even at that, Warri has, since the present governor came in, never experienced all the hostilities you see in other parts of the state and region but with the amnesty, it is like a double portion of peace. If you look at Asaba, it is wearing a new look, the same should be in other parts of the state, more so that commercial activities is more in Warri than Asaba and as you know where there is commercial activities, there will always be progression in population but as the population increases there should be accommodation that will be commensurate wit the kind of development. This is part of the things lacking in Warri and this is why we are coming in to create some semblance of what you have in major cities like Port Harcourt, Lagos and Abuja.
Why do you think this project will be viable knowing that people are moving out of Delta to Lagos?
What we are doing now is to have what you have in VGC. That is the minimum standard and that is why our target in this project because it is principally for the medium and upper ladder of the society. The estate is just 15 minutes drive to the Usubi Airport and five minutes from Delta Steel Company, Aladja. The population of Warri, since last year, has increased and this is because there is peace and more importantly, because of the business activities. There is a feasibility study that we carried out and which of course was part of the reasons to go ahead with the project because the place is lacking in terms of accommodation.
Beyond that, Deltans in diaspora I think can now have a place they can call their own because I know that Deltans are people with taste and class. The estate is presently on-going. As you know banks donâ€™t play with their money, they will not want their money to be tied down unnecessarily. That is why we have a time frame for this project and which bank could be that bold and strong enough to be involved in such project other than union homes, a subsidiary of union bank. They are not only funding it, they are also providing mortgage facilities so that you could pay at your convenience over a period of time. What you will experience in this estate is wide paved roads with good drainage, paved sidewalks green verge and streetlights. There is transformer for every street through which PHCN light will be brought to the street.