Over 200 plots of land meant for a media village on the premises of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS) in the Basorun area of Ibadan have been converted to a housing estate by the governor of Oyo state, Seyi Makinde.
This includes a section of the land used as staff quarters for senior and junior staff members of the state-owned media organization.
SaharaReporters learnt that some workers of BCOS protested several times last year over the development but were threatened that they could lose their jobs.
To compensate senior staff members who were living in the staff quarters, the state government through the management of the BCOS, paid them N200,000 each while junior staff members were given N150,000 each.
The affected workers were told to get apartments in the town while the structures were demolished by the state government in 2021.
Findings by SaharaReporters revealed that the land which they started selling for N15 million 2021 has been increased to N45 million per plot.
The estate will be known as Chief Lere Adigun GRA.
One of the sources said, “Ordinarily, this land according to the layout of BCOS is for a media village where we are supposed to have staff quarters and buildings for training of staff. The media village also has a media training school for those interested in media short courses – print or broadcast media.
“The land has over 200 plots. It is from Basorun axis to Iwo Road area. Some evil people must have sold the idea of acquiring the land to the governor. The most annoying thing is spontaneous increment in the price of the land. It is not meant for poor people; it is only meant for their associates but it is wrong to sell all the government properties. Despite the protest embarked on by the BCOS staff members last year, did you hear anything again? They were threatened that they would lose their jobs.”
Another source, who confirmed the situation, said, “The BCOS workers could not continue with the protest because their jobs were on the line. Nobody is ready to lose their job. Can you see the tall fence and the gigantic gate at the estate? You can see that it is not meant for middle-aged people. We heard the government engaged the services of a close associate of the governor, who is now selling the land to their friends and political associates plot by plot,” the source said.
Labour unions in the state had in 2021 kicked against the planned demolition of the staff quarters.
The staff quarters, comprising 21 blocks of flats housing junior workers and 25 chalets, housing senior workers, was constructed by the military administration of retired Brig.-Gen David Jemibewon.
Allianz West Africa has partnered the state government to develop 137 luxuriously serviced housing units at the housing estate.
The joint venture between the state Government and Allianz WA was announced in June 2021 at the flag-off of the project.
At the event, Makinde said the aim was to provide liveable and affordable homes for residents before leaving office.
“In our journey towards the Greater Oyo State of our dreams, one of the envisaged milestones of success in our agenda, is the provision of affordable and decent homes for the increasing population of the state.
“We are responding to this challenge through the conceptualisation of ongoing GRA across the state. This will not only increase collaboration with private investors, it will also open doors for innovative technology to increase the speed of completion,” he said.