This is the petition against DAAR Communications, operators of AIT and Ray Power FM was presented on the floor of the Rivers State House of Assembly on Friday
It was presented by Hon Michael Chinda during plenary today
𝐀𝐍 𝐀𝐓𝐓𝐄𝐌𝐏𝐓 𝐁𝐘 𝐃𝐀𝐀𝐑 𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐌𝐔𝐍𝐈𝐂𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒 𝐓𝐎 𝐒𝐔𝐑𝐑𝐄𝐏𝐓𝐈𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐔𝐒𝐋𝐘 𝐀𝐂𝐐𝐔𝐈𝐑𝐄 𝐎𝐕𝐄𝐑 𝐅𝐎𝐑𝐓𝐘 (40) 𝐀𝐂𝐑𝐄𝐒 𝐎𝐅 𝐋𝐀𝐍𝐃 𝐁𝐄𝐋𝐎𝐍𝐆𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐓𝐎 𝐑𝐈𝐕𝐄𝐑𝐒 𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐓𝐄 𝐆𝐎𝐕𝐄𝐑𝐍𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐓 𝐅𝐎𝐑 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐔𝐒𝐄 𝐎𝐅 𝐀𝐅𝐑𝐈𝐂𝐀 𝐈𝐍𝐃𝐄𝐏𝐄𝐍𝐃𝐄𝐍𝐓 𝐓𝐄𝐋𝐄𝐕𝐈𝐒𝐈𝐎𝐍 (𝐀𝐈𝐓)..
In 1973, the Rivers State Government acquired for public use over Three Hundred and Sixteen (316) acres of land lying and situate along NTA/Choba Road and fronting the East-West Road from Ozuoba, Rumuosi, Rumuokwachi and Alakahia Communities.
The Rivers State Government in the course of time allotted part of the land to Federal Ministry of Industry for the establishment of Workshop for the training of our people in various skills.
Also, another portion measuring about Fifty (50) acres was allotted to Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN). FRCN erected communication masts and building structures. It operated for a very short time before selling the entire station to the Rivers State Government for the use of Radio Rivers.
Similarly, Radio Rivers operated the station for a very short time before DAAR Communications took over the entire station for the use of AIT.
Our investigations revealed that DAAR Communications, as a private investment has no valid title to continue to occupy our Forty (40) acres of such land situated at the center of developed neighborhood now named Ozuoba GRA Phase 5 by the Rivers State Government.
Since DAAR Communications could not improve on the existing development inherited from Radio Rivers, it resorted to leasing out the excess land to farmers, some of which regrettably are natives of the same communities that originally owned the said land. There are also pockets of various commercial activities being carried out there on payment of yearly rental of unspecified sums of money to convert landlords in AIT.
Presently, a plot of land measuring 50 feet x 100 feet in the aforesaid neighborhood sells for not less than N20,000,000.00 (Twenty Million Naira) only.
One then wonders how over 400 (Four Hundred) plots belonging to the state Government could be left for a private organisation that requires not more than 100feet x 100 feet to function effectively.
Granting Certificate of Occupancy to DAAR Communications for a vast developable land of over Forty (40) acres of land means ceding over Four Hundred (400) Plots of land to a private investor whose business is only television broadcasting.
There are other Broadcasting stations operating within the same area on a far smaller portion of land. Directly opposite the AIT station is a Radio and Television Station owned by a Rivers Son which operates effectively on about Three (3) Plots of Land of 50 x 100 feet. This same size of plot will be suitable for the smooth operations of AIT.
May it be clarified that we are not averse to companies and other investors in our area as there are several companies operating peacefully within the same location. The Syringe Company for instance, occupies a vast expense of land comparable with the current land held by DAAR Communications and had hundreds of Rivers people in its employment before it encountered some operational hitches which resulted in downsizing the workforce. We are confident that when it bounces back the same employment opportunities will be available for the Rivers people.
This cannot be said about DAAR Communications in spite of its occupation of vast land in premium location.”
1. Invite DAAR Communications being the operator of AIT, to show proof of title and payment of ground rent to the Rivers State Government.
2. Should DAAR Communications have proof of title (i.e. Certificate of Occupancy), the House should cause the Rivers State Government to alter the size of land presently occupied and allot to it an area not more than Three (3) plots or 1,393 square meters which will conveniently serve their purpose.