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Protests in London over empty N1.29 billion flat of Banigo

1-Ebitimi Banigo

A former Nigerian minister, King Ebitimi Banigo, has been named among 130 foreign buyers in Britain’s tallest residential skyscraper. It is said that the billionaire owns a £2.7 million apartment in the residential towers where he barely resides.

The tower, St. George Wharf, dominates River Thames in Vauxhall area of south London, with 214 luxury flats, costing a minimum of £1 million. 

Banigo , who is currently a king of Okpoama region in Bayelsa State, only visits the expensive apartment sparingly. 

UK activists have started piling pressure on the government to forcibly buy the mostly empty homes in order to make housing more affordable for their citizens.

Other high-profile buyers named include a Russian senator, the chairman of a defunct Nigerian bank and a Kyrgyz vodka tycoon owns a home of up to £2.2m on the average. Also a ‎£51m penthouse reportedly belongs to former Russian senator Andrei Guriev.

It is reported that 62 per cent of the flats (131 out of 214) are owned by foreigners, while 30 of the properties are occupied by someone who is registered to vote in the local constituency. Meanwhile, there is an issue of housing problems for Londoners because of the city’s rising house prices.

Ngozi Uwaluka for

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