The Edo State Government has commenced demolition of illegal structures erected on government property, including public schools and waterways as well as roof eave-extensions and structures erected on the right of way of roads/streets, moats, riverbanks, TCN high tension lines, among others in Benin City and other major settlements in the state.
In a statement, Commissioner of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Erimona Oye Edorodion said the ministries of Environment and Sustainability and Physical Planning and Urban Development will be embarking on a joint demolition exercise in Benin City and other major settlements in the state.
He said the joint exercise became necessary to address the challenge of poor living and working environment and incessant cases of flooding in urban centres, adding, “The exercise will involve development control activities to ensure that illegal structures which are poorly constructed and wrongly sited are demolished.
“It will also ensure that developments that are involved in the unlawful discharge of sewage, and industrial wastes into our environment are sanctioned. This is in accordance with the provisions of the State’s Extant Town Planning and Environmental Laws and Regulations and to ensure that our living and working environment is safe, healthy, convenient and aesthetically pleasing.”
The commissioner said “Illegal structures, which would be affected in the demolition exercise include: building structures on government acquisitions, public schools and water ways, roof eave-extensions, structures erected on the right of way of roads/streets, moats, river banks, TCN high tension lines, all attachments on wall fence, caravans, kiosks and wooden sheds.”
Edorodion urged illegal developers to, in their own interest, demolish or remove their illegal structures and reinstate the land to its original status prior to the illegal construction, warning property owners and developers involved in the violation of the state’s environmental laws to desist from such practice.
He maintained that “the relevant ministry shall enforce the provisions of the Extant Environmental and Town Planning Laws of the State, to control illegal development.
“The cost of such action shall be recovered from the violators in a law court of competent jurisdiction and they shall be prosecuted accordingly,” he added.