The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Friday, met with stakeholders in the state’s built environment to seek their buy-in in the Edo State Regional Development Plan and Benin City Master Plan.
The governor at the stakeholders’ engagement, in Benin City, reaffirmed his government’s commitment to sanitizing the built sector and ensuring proper land management, guaranteeing a well-planned, clean, and safe environment for Edo residents.
Obaseki said, “In time past, we had a master plan and the communities were made to key into the plan while developing but over 40 years back, it was disregarded and indiscriminate building began to spring forth leading to a chaotic environment.
“We have our plan and design and plan to approach the Communities with a concrete plan. We would come out with the necessary information to stop people from buying land but allow communities to register with the government to enable the government to know who owns what and who encroaches into government properties.
“Land management presupposes there is law and order and people respect the law. Sheer lawlessness in society has given rise to indiscriminate development across the cities. How do you plan for people who grow up in a society that is not planned?”
He reassured, “We will leave behind a plan for the future as this plan will be taught for all the citizens to know where the communities will benefit from. We are expected to engage several communities to ensure standard development.”
Delivering a paper on Edo State Regional Plan Phase II, TPL Samson Olusegun said the first phase is to set the objectives for a comprehensive regional development plan for the development of Edo State from 2023 to 2053.
He noted, “Edo State is critical to the development of the nation as it stands as a connecting point to all other regions in Nigeria.”
Speaking on the Benin City Master Plan, TPL Mohammed Lawal Shaibu said, “There is the need for a plan as the urban population will continue to grow whether there is a plan for Benin or not. It has become necessary to provide infrastructural development and make Benin a smart city.”
On her part, former Commissioner for Housing, Physical Planning, Urban and Regional Development, Isoken Omo said the master plan is a living document and continuous engagement is necessary with stakeholders in the building ecosystem.
She added, “We are already working with the plan and need a robust engagement. The pressure in Benin City is so high and the need to create a new city has become necessary. The new town development project called the Cora City Project is gradually coming to reality.”