The Edo State government has demolished illegal structures in various locations within the Benin metropolis as part of efforts to ensure a properly planned and sanitised built environment.
The Director of Physical Planning and Development Control at the Ministry of Physical Planning, Housing, Urban and Regional Development, Henry Enabulele, who led a taskforce of the government on the exercise, said the demolition exercise became imperative as defaulters have failed to heed various warnings and notices issued to them.
Some illegal structures demolished included a fence built on an existing road by Miracle Church of God Vision Faith Ministry; Osula Close, Uteh Ne Urekpoki Quarters, Upper Mission Extension; stores built on right of way 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 is about infractions that we have been complaining about in the Benin metropolis. People build on the right of way with impunity, so the excercise is to clear the areas that these infractions were noticed.”
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He said the ministry had verbally told them and also written to them, advising them to stop building on the right of way, as government would not tolerate it.
“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 which he refused to adhere to,” Enabulele added.
He said government would make them pay for the cost of removing the structures.
Enabulele called on builders and developers to be on the side of caution by verifying before purchasing lands to avoid infractions.
“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.
“Do not build on the right of way. If you want to purchase any land, there are several avenues you can use to check if those lands are illegal or developable,” he said.