The Government of Edo state has declared its commitment to enforcing all physical and town planning laws in the state to restore integrity to the environment’s masterplan, it was learnt on Thursday.
A statement endorsed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. John Mayaki said, “There are town planning rules and laws in the state, and nobody is bigger than the law. So, for the development of Edo state and to upgrade the people’s standard of living, there should be full compliance from everyone to the law”.
On the issue of the building recently demolished along Mission Road, which had about 150 shops, the Governor’s media aide said, “The structure, for which the owner sought the government’s approval, was at variance with what was erected. In other words, the structure which was built was in contravention of what was approved”.
“Before the demolition, notices were served, which have since expired. And, as you may as well be aware, nobody is above the law, neither is anyone’s interest bigger than the public’s interest.
He continued that no parking space was provided for owners of the would-be shops at the property, as well as there was no parking space for those who would go there to shop.
The property, he explained, was being constructed at the heart of the city and shoppers and shop owners would have had to park by the roadside, which could stifle traffic and cause congestion on the roads.
“In specific terms, Mayaki revealed, “the plan, for which the owner sought approval, provided for 30 shops with adequate allowances for space and internal staircases, but what Edo people later discovered was a structure with 150 shops and external staircases, just as there were no provision for parking”.
The structure therefore constituted a breach on the property and to all known town planning laws and even to the plan, which was submitted for approval.
The governor’s CPS also stressed that one person could not create a crisis to disturb other people, adding that the building would have inconvenienced many people.
Meanwhile, the land would remain the owner’s property but the property erected on it should not aggravate the very crisis, which the government was avoiding at the Kingsquare, also called Ring Road.
“I am also glad to report to you that the government exists for the good and interest of the public and that is the interest the administration of Governor Godwin Obaseki is serving. The public is even happier that the government is creating the right of way for them,” he further explained.