The Imperatives of Operation Plan Edo And Need for Public Support
By Nekpen Maureen Nwine
Cities or communities are always what people make of them. It is unarguably of great importance to build communities in a manner that guarantees future growth and development.
According to the great feminist author Rebecca Solnit, “A city always contains more than any inhabitant can know”.
She further stated that “great cities, spaces as well as places are designed, built and organized around citizens’ participation in public life”.
Communities are rapidly changing, therefore structures, both residential and infrastructural, ought to be planned and created along spaces which are friendly for all people.
Bearing this in mind, Governor Obaseki with a strong desire for residents in Edo State to live in a decent and well planned State, launched the ‘‘Operation Plan Edo” which initiated the recertification of building plans by the Government alongside the collation of data on the socio-economic needs of communities.
This exercise, which is in line with Government’s vision of actualizing the 30-year development master plan for the State uses data gathering and collation to aid Government’s knowledge of the most pressing needs of different communities in the State and also make adequate provisions for them.
In commencing this initiative, the Commissioner for Physical Planning, Urban and Regional Development, Isoken Omo, emphasised that “the programme will enable Government key the State into the Edo Regional and Benin Master Plan formulated by the administration to develop the State”
From the Commissioner’s narrative, it is evident that Operation Plan Edo is also designed to correct shortfalls in health centres, police stations, schools, markets and transport hubs in some communities across the State. These are the much desired Government presence in communities that make for rapid development.
It is important to note that in carrying out this exercise, 12 ministries which have been identified as key-line ministries have been mandated to join forces with the Ministry of Physical Planning, Urban and Regional Development to identify the needs of the people. The findings will be structured to meet the immediate needs of citizens as well as the medium and long-term needs.
Considering these accruable gains, all Edo people at home and in the Diaspora should support this initiative that will restore order in the housing and infrastructure development sectors and create the needed data base for sustainable development of the State.
In the past, cases of abuse of city plans were rife due to poor supervision by previous administrations. This will be corrected by Operation Plan Edo. For example, land meant for roads, markets, schools and hospitals were sold to individuals in some communities, who erected residential buildings without approved plans. Operation Plan Edo will ensure that this ugly trend does not continue in the State.