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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa

Delta’s Commissioner for Urban Renewal, Arthur Akpowowo, said the state government has taken a three-pronged approach to curb non-compliance with building permits.

Akpowowo told Asaba in an interview with reporters.

He said the current reorganization of the state’s Department of Urban Renewal will ensure hard times for those lacking building permits in the state.

He said that to avoid various infractions, there will be three stages of building permit approval; pre-approval, approval and post-approval.

According to him, the transfer of the Department of Town Planning and the Urban Renewal Planning Council to the Ministry of Urban Renewal gave the ministry the responsibility to control development in the state.

“What I mean is if you have your private land and you need to build it, you have to come through our offices across the state.

“There are area planning offices across the state where you can go and get your building plans approved.

“If you are lucky enough to get land from the government, you always have to go to the Urban Renewal Planning Board to get your plans approved.

“The Department of Urban Renewal now has full control over state development in terms of permits,” Akpowowo said.

He said the reorganization positioned the department to manage departments and agencies to ensure they adhere to building codes statewide.

“We are in charge of managing the urban space so that we can guide construction activities and ensure that they comply with our building code.

“The incidence of building collapses will be significantly reduced as we will now have three approvals; pre-approval, approval and post-approval to ensure that we are not just giving clearance without follow-up.

“We took this strict approach because there have been incidents where people come in with plans to build an apartment building and you give them approval for an apartment building.

“They end up building buildings that are three stories or more because there’s no proper oversight and monitoring.

“These are going to be significantly reduced or even eliminated as we will give permission and follow up to make sure what the person is doing is in line with our permission, the building environment, the architects, the surveyor and everyone on board,” he said. saying.

Regarding the ongoing Koka exchange, Akpowowo said that beyond reducing lost working hours, the project will help beautify Asaba and make it a true state capital.

“The loss of working hours on this axis due to traffic jams is sometimes an economic waste. Moving from point A to point B is an economic gain, and therefore with the viaduct in progress, there will be ease of movement.

“The concept is to allow the free flow of traffic and it will reduce the loss of working hours, it will serve as aesthetics.

“My ministry will take care of the embellishment aspect of this project when the civil works are finished. So you’re going to see a nice major exit and entry point in the state capital,” he said.

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The Commissioner commended Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for Prof. Chike Edozien’s secretariat, which housed all the ministries in one building, saying that work has become more pleasant since the ministry moved to the new secretariat.

“The pleasure is unparalleled. We have never enjoyed our offices so much.

“As you know, where we were before, for more than two years that we were there, we were never supplied with electricity by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).

“We had about four generators running at full capacity at the same time, so the environment was never conducive to work.

“Since we moved into this secretariat around December 13, we have enjoyed this place and the facilities are wonderful. People are beginning to respect our duties as Commissioners.

“Where you do business has a huge impact on what you do, so we are grateful to His Excellency Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for this Secretariat,” Akpowowo said. .

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