LOCAL NEWS JUBILATION AS FHA HANDS OVER FESTAC MECHANIC VILLAGE TO ARTISANS By Admin Posted on 3 weeks ago 6 min read 0 0 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin By Fawziyyat Yusuf. Sen. Gbenga Ashafa, the Federal Housing Authority’s (FHA) Managing Director, handed over the six-acre Mechanic Village/Market in FESTAC Town to the craftsmen on Thursday. Ashafa said the event was in keeping with his vow to restore FESTAC town’s lost splendor during the handing-over ceremony at the new site on 6th Avenue in FESTAC town. According to the Nigerian News Agency (NAN), Mr Akintola Olagbemiro, FHA South-West Zonal Manager, represented Ashafa at the handover of the facility to the Nigerian Automobile Technician Association (NATA). He was overjoyed at the realization of FHA’s long-awaited plan to relocate the mechanics to a more permanent location. “Let me quickly add that the place of mechanics, technicians, and artisans can never be underestimated in any society. Their overall importance in any economy is not of low profile because of the essential nature of their trade. “The value chain they add to the economy is quite enormous, owing to the many jobs and employment they create through service deliveries. “We in FHA will do all we can within our reach to make you comfortable, relevant and organised,” he said. He asked NATA’s FESTAC branch leadership to maintain orderly business premises and collaborate with all levels of government and other stakeholders in order to achieve peaceful coexistence. “With the success of today, it has been officially declared illegal for any auto mechanic to operate in any other part of FESTAC Town. “We also implore the auto mechanic/technician leadership to help relevant authorities concerned with the security and sanitation of FESTAC Town, by compelling all your members to avail themselves of this facility,” he said. FHA would continue to work with craftsmen and other stakeholders, according to Ashafa, who also commended the FESTAC Town Residents Association, security agencies, and other stakeholders for their patience. He stated that the FHA would work with the Amuwo Odofin Local Government and other stakeholders to regain the right of way. FHA surveyors had taken the site measurements for putting the beacons on the new site, according to Ashafa. Mr Valentine Buraimoh, Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government (AOLG), said the decision will bring more development not only to FESTAC Town, but to the entire community. Buraimoh, on the other hand, stated that a stakeholders meeting was required to assess how the area granted could be maximized. “We need to get ideas and suggestions on how best we can use the space given to us,” he said. NAN reports that NATA members marched joyfully to the venue to take ownership of the facility, led by Mr Ayodele Adewale, the immediate past chairman of the Amuwo Odofin Local Government (AOLG) Area. Adewale told journalists that he was overjoyed that efforts made during his term to ensure that artisans and traders were able to take ownership of the location designated for them in the original FESTAC Town Master Plan had come to fruition. The Chairman of NATA, Mr Yunusa Elekolomo said: “I am happy that finally this site that rightly belongs to us is being given to us today. “Since the 70s, we have suffered a lot of encroachment on this land, we have suffered too much, I will say that today that we are taking possession is my happiest day,” he said. Earlier, President, FESTAC Town Residents Association (FTRA), Mr Shola Fakorede, said that enough sensitisation and awareness campaign was carried out for residents and artisans to embrace the project which had become a reality.