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Edo moves to avert disaster along Ugbor power line, issues notices to illegal occupants

18 May 2024

The Edo State Government has issued a disaster aversion/eviction notice to illegal occupants of High Voltage power line along Ugbor area of Benin City so as to avert disasters from illegal occupation and trading under the right of way of the powerline.

The Commissioner for Physical Planning, Housing, Urban and Regional Development, Isoken Omo, who disclosed this during a press briefing, said the State Government received a letter from Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) about two weeks ago requesting that illegal occupants under the power line should be evacuated because of the dangers

She said staff of the Ministry and the BEDC served the occupants notice to relocate from the area within seven days after which they will be evicted and restricted from returning to the site.

“We went to the power line at Abuja Quarters between 1st and 2nd Ugbor to serve the notice to people doing business under the power line.

“Two weeks ago, we received a letter from BEDC requesting that to avert disaster in the Ugbor area, it has become expedient for people occupying or doing business under power lines to vacate the site because it is dangerous.”

Omo noted that the area was evacuated twice in the past but the illegal occupants kept coming back, adding that the government has devised strategies to keep the people away from the area.

Displaying the notice, she said it alerted the occupants on the dangers it posed to them and others.

Head, Health Safety and Environment of BEDC, Mr. Gilbert Nweke said the company is concerned about the decision to ignore the health and safety issues raised, noting that the level of impunity by the occupants was worrisome.

“If the conductor snaps, all those under the line will not be spared. Ignorance and impunity make people violate the right of way of power lines forgetting the implications and danger involved,” he noted.

The notice reads, "Notice is hereby given to vacate the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC)/TCN High Voltage power line (330/132/33KV) right-of-way (RoW) facilities. Please be aware that your presence under these high-tension facilities constitutes a highly unsafe condition to your property, customers, passersby and yourself.

“This action is a very serious contravention and a breach of section C, subsection 29 (1-6) of the Edo State Development and Building Control Laws, 2022 and other Extant laws that govern the management of such facilities.

“You are by this notice in your own interest and the safety of others, advised to demolish and remove your illegal development under reference and reinstate the land to its original status prior to your illegal occupation within seven (7) days from the date on this notice.

“Take note should you delay or fail to comply with the terms of this notice, the Ministry shall proceed to enforce the provisions of the relevant sections of the laws against you. These sanctions may include demolition of your illegal structure (at your cost) and or including prosecution in a Court of competent jurisdiction.

“Recollect that we had earlier removed all these illegal structures in the recent past and no further notice shall be given before enforcement will be conducted.”

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