Okon Bassey in Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Government has concluded plan to demolish thousands of illegal structures erected within Uyo, the state capital.
The State Commissioner, Ministry of Lands and Town Planning, Ime Ekpo disclosed this.
The commissioner who said this while fielding questions from newsmen in Uyo, said already demolition squad or committee had been set up by the ministry to pull down all identified illegal structures in the city.
“There are two types of illegal structures. The first one is structure erected where it supposed to be erected but has not obtained approval papers; the other structure in every aspect of it, it is illegal not cited properly.
“This ministry has just constituted a demolition squad headed by the Permanent Secretary. As soon as we get the funds, we are expecting the committee to go into action.
“By right, the cost of the demolition is supposed to be borne by the illegal developer. How to enforce that is going to be a problem. So we will not wait for that. As soon as we receive the funds we are expecting, we are going into demolition.
“So if you have a neighbour or friends who erected illegal structures and have inscription on the buildings tell him to make alternative plan to start looking for another accommodation.
“We have already identified the structures, we need to bring them down so that others will also know before you erect structure, and you must get approval that is why we have development control agencies like the Uyo Capital City Development Authority (UCCDA) and Area Planning Committee (APC).
“Along Oron road, there are structures already built. Some three story, some two story and bungalows structures on the 3 ring road between Nwaniba road and Oron roads especially where you have the timber market. Now that contract has been awarded for the construction of the ring road those building must come down.” Ekpo stressed.
The commissioner argued that before the planned demolition exercise, the ministry had issued series of notice for those affected noting that indiscriminate erections of illegal structures were responsible for the flooding of the metropolis.
“Master plans are supposed to be guides to development control which people are supposed to adhere to. But people instead of submitting their drawings to appropriate quarters, they take laws into their hands and feel that they can erect structures the way they like. That is why we have all these problems,” he added.