By EMEM IDIO
YENAGOA — AGAINST the backdrop of claims by the government that the difficult terrain of the state has made development of infrastructure especially housing cumbersome, a Yenagoa based real estate developer, Mr. Emelike Ifeayinchukwu Ossy has faulted this claim, maintaining that the terrain in Bayelsa State is not responsible for the slow pace of infrastructural development in the oil rich state.
According to Mr Ossy, during a chat with Niger Delta Voice in Yenagoa, though the terrain is difficult, nature has compensated the state with abundant natural resources to reduce the adverse effects of the terrain on the people.
“When people particularly governments talked about difficult terrain in real estate, I will agree partially, however, I also disagree with the government because if God gives you a sea he also gives you sand, when God gives you a desert he gives you stones, God always has a soft landing for all and a state like Bayelsa is blessed with a lot of mineral resources.
“If you compare the terrain in Bayelsa with some places in Lagos like Lekki and other swampy areas you will see that Lekki and Eko Atlantic City have one of the best investments in real estate in Africa and the terrain is far worse than Yenagoa, but they have transformed that place to a hub, which will attract investors. I don’t really see terrain as a challenge; I see government policies as one of the challenges in real estate in Bayelsa state.
“Has the state government and other stakeholders in the state asked themselves, what kind of Yenagoa do we really want to have? Do we want to have a Yenagoa we are proud of, or a Yenagoa city we will be running away from? With these questions they should put their house in order; the terrain should not be a problem, they are missing the track.
“Bayelsa terrain is virgin, natural and fresh, and in real estate, when it is fresh it is easy to handle than when people have done unwanted structuring that becomes cumbersome, now that the land is still fresh, the government needs to sit up and do effective town planning because that is what government is expected to do now,” he said.