Edo State government has met with stakeholders to examine the challenges of unstructured and illegal urbanisation and proffer solutions to ensure Benin regains its city status.
This was at a workshop on Urban and Town Planning themed “Urban Chaos – Refocusing Town Planning in Edo State”, which held in Benin City, the State Capital on Friday.
Chairman of the workshop and former commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, Architect Frank Evbuomwan, noted that Benin City, which once had good design and planning, had become a shadow of itself, and this called for a restructuring.
He said: “It is about doing the right thing. We discovered that the way Benin City is developing presently is not the best for all of us. This government is a government that has the political will to do the right thing. The recommendations that come from this workshop will be presented to the governor for implementation. I am confident that he will do the needful”.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Dare Dania said professional bodies in the building industry must work together as a team for the state to get it right, adding that the initiative of the programme was to find lasting solutions to the chaotic development in the state.
A participant, Dr. Chukwujekwu Ifenna, also called on the state government to deploy political will to implement policies and decision that would rectify illegal urbanisation in the state, while also urging the state government to compensate those that would be affected.
Another participant and a former surveyor general to Bendel and Edo State, Dr. Sunny Ukpaise, said: “The outcome of the workshop will help the government on what to do to bring orderliness in developing the city. If the city is well developed, it becomes beautiful and conducive for relaxation. It will also increase tourism and tourist activities. This is a worthwhile programme and exercise, the government of the state must be commended for the laudable steps taken so far”.