The Edo State Government has stepped up efforts towards ensuring a properly planned and sanitized built environment in the state, embarking on the demolition of illegal structures in various locations within the Benin metropolis.
The Director of Physical Planning and Development Control at the Ministry of Physical Planning, Housing, Urban and Regional Development, Henry Enabulele, who led a taskforce of the state government on the exercise, said the demolition exercise became imperative as defaulters failed to heed various warnings and notices issued to them.
Some illegal structures demolished include a fence built on an existing road by Miracle Church of God Vision Faith Ministry; Osula Close, Uteh Ne Urekpoki Quarters, Upper Mission Extension; Stores built on right of way at BDPA, opposite the University of Benin; and a building under development on the right of way at Gospel Star Street, Ovbiogie Quarters, all in Benin City.
According to him, “The exercise carried out today is about infractions that we have been complaining about in the Benin metropolis. People built on the right of way with impunity. Our going out today is to clear the areas that these infractions were noticed.
“We have told them severally, written to them and advised them to stop building on the right of way. This present government is not going to tolerate it.
“The infraction at Ovbiogie was on the center of the road. We have discussed with the community and they said they were not the ones that sold that land and we have advised the man to remove the structure from the center of the road which he refused to adhere to.”
He added, “We are going to make them pay for the cost of removing these infractions.”
Enabulele called on builders and developers to err on the side of caution by verifying before purchasing lands to avoid infractions.
He said, “We have EdoGIS at your service and you can write to us at the Ministry of Physical Planning, Housing, Urban and Regional Development to guide you. Please don't buy if you are not very sure that the land is not encumbered.
“We are advising the general public to stop wasting their hard earned money on these illegal developments. It is illegal and this government will not tolerate it.
“Do not build on the right of way. If you want to purchase any land, there are several avenues you can use to check if those lands are illegal or developable.”