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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Rivers Government is inviting bids for prime real estate.

Rivers Government is inviting bids

Last week, a new buzz swept the Rivers real estate market as the state government followed through on its decision to sell off its top properties, despite citizens’ reservations about the intended sale.

The properties are the former Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) headquarters, also known as the Harold Dappa Biriye House, and the former RIVBank building, both located on Plot 6,7 and 8 Orije layout along Aba road in Port Harcourt.

After the completion of its N16 billion permanent headquarters office at Eastern By-Pass, Marine base in Port Harcourt, former occupants of the Harold Dappa building vacated it in April 2021.

The nine-story structure is situated on a plot of land measuring 2,694.993 square meters. There are conference rooms and offices in the building.

The agency was reportedly paying N300 million in year rent on the former office facility, which has since been returned to the Rivers State government.

A visit to the agency’s previous office complex, a nine-story structure located along GRA crossroads in Port Harcourt City Council, revealed that it is abandoned, with only security officers visible.

The former occupants were also said to have vandalized some parts of the facility, prompting the state executive Council to consider two options: renovate the building and appoint a facility manager to oversee it, or sell the complex outright, with the buyer renovating and doing whatever he wants with it.

Similarly, the former RIVBank building was considered, and the state’s administration decided to sell the property completely, citing a lack of strong maintenance culture among civil officials. The structure is seven stories tall and rests on 2,132.32 square meters of ground.

The State government, through the Ministry of Housing, has called for public bidding on the properties as a result of the ruling. Tasie Chinedu Nwobueze, the state’s Commissioner for Housing, confirmed the news.

AIHS 2022

“We are calling for public bidding on the assets,” he stated. After NDDC left, the state government had two options: repair the complex for millions of dollars and hire a facilities manager, or sell it entirely and allow the buyer renovate and do whatever he wants.”

“After careful consideration, the state executive Council decided to sell the buildings outright. The reaction has been dismal; investors have offered N2 billion, but the payment terms are unfavorable to us.”

IN THE MEAN TIME, some residents have objected to the sale of the Harold Dappa Biriye building.

They said that the concept has political overtones, stating that the state government is using advertisements to deceive the public, and that one of their buddies has acquired it.

While some have recommended that the building be leased in order to generate cash, others are completely unaware of what will happen to the massive structure.

“The government should rent the building out to some of the corporate groups so that it generates money for them,” said Maxwell Oyi, a resident. I’m curious as to why they want to sell the structure. The building should not be sold outright because it is a symbol of our history. The structure is named after one of the state’s founding fathers, and if it is sold, his name will be obliterated.”

“The government’s claim to sell the building is a smokescreen to hide their desire to convert it to personal property,” Fabian Amadi remarked.

“Rivers State is a state where we use anything to play politics.” And since the building is such a valuable asset to the state, how about allowing a corporation to manage it and generate annual revenue for the government?”

Kingsley Onyeka, another local, claims the administration lacks a maintenance culture.

He claimed that the government could not maintain the structure and that it should be sold.

“We all know that the government has no idea how to manage public facilities,” he remarked. There are numerous examples of government properties that have become outmoded or defunct.”

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