As part of efforts to ensure a properly planned and sanitised environment in the state, the Edo State government has embarked on the demolition of illegal structures in various locations within Benin City metropolis.
Henry Enabulele, the Director of Physical Planning and Development Control, the Ministry of Physical Planning, Housing, Urban and Regional Development, who led a taskforce 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 at 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.
He said, “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.
According to him, the infraction at Ovbiogie was at the centre 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 centre of the road but he refused to adhere to it. We were going to make them pay for the cost of removing these infractions,” he stated.
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.”
He warned the people against building on the right of way, saying many avenues are at their disposal to verify if the land they want to buy are illegal or developable.