Edo State government, weekend commenced the demolition of illegal structures in Benin City in line with the present administration’s urban renewal agenda.
The exercise is a precursor to the signing of a consultancy service agreement with an engineering firm, Siraj Nigeria Limited for the state regional development and Benin urban master plan.
The demolition is predicated on Section 7 (5)(I)(III) of the Town and Country Planning Law Cap 165 of Bendel State as applicable to Edo State, as amended by the Town and Country Planning Edit No. 12 of 1979.
According to a notice dated June 18, 2021 and signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical and Urban Development, Chris Abode, government began the demolition of illegal structures following the expiration of notices earlier served on owners for grossly violating the state extant Town Planning Law and Regulations.
As painful as the government action may appear, it was necessary, especially for a government that is committed to restoring sanity and orderliness to the society.
Besides aesthetics, The Nigerian OBSERVER sees the demolition of illegal structures as an indication that it is no longer business as usual.
This is a step in the right direction for which the Godwin Obaseki led administration deserves applaud.
What interests Edo people most is that the government action has no political, tribal or religious coloration.
It is regrettable that overtime, government rules and regulations are observed more in breach than in compliance.
It is no longer news that people continue to build structures without building plans or seeking necessary approval from the appropriate government regulatory authorities to the detriment of the larger society.
It is interesting to note that a bulk of the erosion problem and other natural disasters in different parts of the country in recent times are consequences of violation of town planning or building regulations, which are meant to be complied with due to long and short term implications.
Edo government cannot continue to be indifferent to the deliberate and flagrant violation of its laws, policies and programmes that were put in place to bring about a civilized and organized society.
The Nigerian OBSERVER commends Governor Godwin Obaseki for not lacking in the courage and political will to do what is necessary in the overall interest of Edo people.
The state government deserves all the cooperation and support to sustain the laudable initiative which is aimed at restoring the state master plan.