Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki disclosed, during the weekend, that his administration was ready and open for housing business and ready to tackle the challenges facing the sector to ensure that Edo people got affordable houses.
He made the disclosure at the close of a 2-day workshop on Housing/Real Estate themed: “Quest for Adequate and Sustainable Real Estate for Edo People”, organised by the state government.
The governor noted that the sector’s major challenge was lawlessness and absence of order as the system could not work effectively without law and order.
He continued that the state had land laws but, over the years, people took laws into their hands violating properties laws, invoking jungle law and appropriating land to themselves.
He said his administration was serious about housing in the state, and had commenced the process of developing the Benin Masterplan to clean up the system and implement the outcome of the workshop.
“We have the human capacity and unique geographical opportunity. Our location has given us greater opportunity as the entire key ingredient needed to create a modern society exists in our state. We have the capacity to drive major economy growth”.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the workshop, Alhaji Ali Magashi, said the workshop was to create a roadmap for the governor to have a well integrated and planned housing development for Edo State to make it an economic hub, and to provide job for the people of the state.
“There is need to start with planning; you need an urban planning and renewal. You need to open up new Estate, provide land for developers to put money, and create financial structures for people of the state to get their new homes”.
He, however, commended the governor for the workshop, calling on him to ensure he implemented the outcome of the workshop to achieve the desired result.
Former Commissioner for Housing and Planning Arch. Frank Evbuomwan, who also attended the workshop, said the law governing planning in the state was mostly administrative and it had not really helped the sector.
To address the issue, he noted that it was important to draw up localised urban planning laws and regulations using appropriate agencies with stiffer punishment on those that violated laws relating to urban planning.
He called on the state government to protect and preserve the state’s cultural heritage, which was the pride of the people.
“We need to preserve our moat which is our cultural heritage and can serve as a means of revenue to the government of the state,” he explained.