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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Abia warns against harassment of town planners

Abia State Government has called on residents of the state to desist from harassing, intimidating and arresting the state Urban Planning Authority personnel who visit building sites to monitor compliance with guidelines.

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State

The Abia State Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Planning, Dr Chidi Onwuchuruba, gave the warning at a meeting with UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) Team in Aba, the state capital, on Friday, September 16, 2022.

Onwuchuruba, addressing building professionals, said that some of them joined property owners to disrupt urban planning rules.

“People building should find a better place and build according to the rules.

“Whenever you see them (Urban Planning Authority personnel), they are probably checking on compliance with the rules; so, don’t arrest or harass them.

“By year 2000, the then Gov. Orji Uzor Kalu, being an Aba boy, set up a committee to see how to sanitise the city.

“The committee, which I was part of, reported that 1,500 buildings needed to be knocked down but he was unable to implement it.

“By 2009, during the tenure of Theodore Orji, he set up another committee to review the state of building developments in Aba.

“The committee Orji set up reported that a whopping number, 4,500 buildings, needed to be knocked down in Aba. Orji could not implement it.

“One day, a governor, who will have the will power to implement such a report and will knock down up to 10,000 buildings in Aba,” the official said.

He urged property developers and other Abia residents to support town planning activities  for the benefit of all.

By Ijendu Iheaka

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