The Edo State Government, on Monday, met with stakeholders in the entertainment and hospitality sectors of the state to rally the support of the stakeholders in the development of the Benin City Masterplan.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning, Housing, Urban and Regional Development, Isoken Omo, at the one-day workshop, said the parley is to get the buy-in of the stakeholders so as to sanitize the metropolis in line with the vision of Governor Godwin Obaseki.
She said, “We called you here today to tell you that we don’t want MSMEs to close because it is the backbone of our economy but rather we want you to make a continuous commitment that in each of your establishment, your actions and inactions will not promote child abuse.
“The amount of drug use in Benin is mind bugging; our children and minors are exposed to abuse.”
The Commissioner continued: “Going forward, there are criteria that must be fulfilled by every hotelier especially those whose businesses are located in residential areas. The governor has mandated that all these criteria be fulfilled within three months.
“If you want to have an event centre, we will give you a minimum standard of what is required and some of them include evacuation in cases of emergency and fire outbreak and banning of outdoor speakers where applicable. Soundproofing is very important to reduce the amount of noise generated from these facilities.”
She added, “Parking requirements must be fully implemented, both for existing and new facilities. Internal parking must be sufficient or you can get an alternative location purchased for parking to remove pressure on the existing roads while smaller venues might need to reduce the number of patronage so that there will be enough space for parking.”
Omo enjoined the stakeholders to always liaise and seek further information from the Ministry, noting, “It is better to err on the side of caution and ask questions. We want to restore the sanity of residential areas, reclassify the various locations and the state government will continue to engage, take suggestions, complaints and recommendations from you. We will also make a document available for all of you that will help as a guide on all the requirements.”
In their response, the stakeholders thanked the state government, reassuring their support to the government’s programmes, policies and reforms to improve the living standard for the people and ensure economic prosperity for the state.