Abidjan- Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) -- Cash-strapped Ivorian Construction and Real Estate Company (SICOGI) will, starting Tuesday, evict over 2,000 of its tenants who have not paid up their mortgage fees, the company's general manager disclosed Monday.
Libi Koita said tenants to be evicted live in four of the 10 districts of Abidjan, namely Cocody, Koumassi, Yopougon and Marcory.
SICOGI wants to recover 9 billion FCFA (about 12 million dollars) in arrears from tenants, some of whom have defaulted for five years now.
"SICOGI is facing many difficulties and, instead of filing a petition for bankruptcy, it has decided to evict all the tenants who won't have paid their mortgage loans", Koita said.
Out of 20,000 units under the mortgage scheme, he said only 11,000 units have been redeemed.
"The company has not recovered its dues for the remaining 9,000 houses", he said.
The tenants, however, complain that since 1995 prices of buildings put in the mortgage shot up rapidly.
They said a three-room house which cost 500,000 FCFA (about 660 dollars) 15 years ago has gone up to 1,500,000 FCFA (about 2,000 dollars).
A spokesman of the house co-owners union for the economically disadvantaged of Cote d'Ivoire, Augustin Guirobo, said no expert evaluation of the houses was done before the prices were raised.