By Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has charged the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development to ensure a 48-hour turn-around time for approval of building plans in the state within the next two months.
Gov. Obaseki also directed the Edo Geographical Information Agency to ensure that Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) and Rights to Occupancy are issued to applicants within 30 days of application, demanding that this should take effect in the next 12 months.
He gave the directive while speaking at a two-day workshop organised by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, themed: ‘Strengthening the Institutional Framework for Physical Development Management in Edo State,’ held in Benin City, the Edo State capital, recently.
Obaseki said the two-day workshop was organised to develop the expertise of stakeholders and strengthen the institutional framework for physical development and management. He said there was need to re-calibrate the management of the physical infrastructure to make room for well-coordinated urban development.
Noting that development had not been controlled for a long while in the state, he said, “This has contributed to raising a generation that lacks required knowledge on the importance of registering development plans. People need to be educated on the importance of registering their building plans. People just wake up and do what they like, and in the process turn cities into slums,” he said.
Obaseki added, “The focus of this administration is to re-enact and rebuild the physical development and space of the state. There is need to explore the use of legal frameworks to reposition the Urban and Rural landscape of the state. This will assist us in capturing the needs of the people in the state without compromising standards.”
He said his administration has developed well-thought-out plans hinged on six strategic pillars to include institutional reforms, environmental sustainability, culture and tourism, among others, adding that “the state intends to ensure sanity in urban development.”