Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
Following the August 26, 2011, flood incident in Ibadan which literally brought Oyo State to its knees, resulting in the deaths of many residents and untoward economic downturn, the state government has said it has spent only 14 per cent of the $200millon World Bank loan granted it by the Chinese Government.
The Director General of the state Bureau of Physical Planning and Development Control, Alhaji Waheed Gbadamosi, stated this while briefing journalists at the state Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism on Tuesday.
Part of the loan, Gbadamosi said, was being spent on reconstruction of bridges, roads, dredging of rivers, and water channels as part of efforts to control flooding in the state.
According to the D G, the government has listed many of the affected sites under the Ibadan Urban Flood Control, and the project is expected to last for eight years.
Also, the 70-year-old Eleyele water dam, he noted, would be upgraded to a world class dam, stating that construction work is expected to commence soon.
Gbadamosi who spoke extensively on the Ibadan Master Plan final draft that would be submitted next month, disclosed that 22 private radio stations that are operating without approved building plans in Ibadan would soon be closed down.
He frowned at the inability of the media houses to get approval from the appropriate agencies in the state, just as he stated that most of the residential structures turned to commercial ventures especially in Ibadan would soon be asked to pay huge fine/fee for doing such.
Gbadamosi said: “Over 22 radio stations don’t have approved building plans. They are more than 22 of them. They don’t have building plans. Most of them turned residential buildings into commercial ventures.
The DG who said the government had decided to take necessary actions to close the radio stations down, also disclosed that the case had been brought to the attention of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for necessary actions.
He said the need to take legal action and exercise patience before the closure was necessary so as not to see the closure as a political tool in waging war against the media in the state.
“When we want to close them down, we know it may create some security threat, we have brought the case to the NBC for necessary actions and sanctions.
“They have converted residential buildings to commercial ventures. Such development is going to bring and attract vehicular and human traffic to the area, is there plans for that?”
“If you change your structure from residential to commercial, you will pay N25million fine/fee.
“The laws have to be obeyed, people must conform, you cannot see a white man and start a construction without a building plan.
“By the time we imposed a very huge fees, it will serve as a deterrent to others.
“We are ready to transform the state within the short period that is left.
“You have a lot to report, those of you in the papers, you have a lot to report and you will sell your papers, and those of you in the electronic media, you have a lot to report.
“There are so many abandoned buildings and dilapidated structures in the state, they are constituting security threat to the people of the area. You know they are abode for miscreants and they have to go,” Gbadamosi said.