In order to checkmate the rate of illegal structures springing up indiscriminately in Calabar metropolis without formal building plan, Governor Ben Ayade has constituted an 8-man development control task force.
Speaking during the inauguration of the team in Calabar at the weekend, Gov Ayade said Calabar master plan had been tainted with irregular buildings in areas they were not meant to be located, adding “we know that based on the master plan, Calabar is supposed to be a highbrow, world class residential city.”
“But, overtime, people have built houses even on flooded plains, built houses without respecting the boundary lines of the highway, the routes and the necessary clearance as given by the national federal highway codes.
“There are situations where people are building houses without approved plans; there are situation where people are building commercial houses in residential areas. We have all sorts of distortions to the Calabar master plan and government knows that it is not enough to allow it to the department of development control under the ministry of lands.
“And so, because an urgency is required at this point, men of integrity, honor and quality are being put together to address this trend.”
Charging members of the committee to exercise every restraint necessary to do a good job, the Governor advised that the jobs “comes with a lot of pains, a lot of inducement and a lot of bribery and corruption and a lot of public hue and cry,” but charged them to ensure that they should take the responsibility “to reverse the degeneration that is occurring which may include to take down any building that is on flooded plains.”
He tasked them to “re-align the streets and ensure that people pay development control levy, pay approval plan levy and also get proper approval appropriately; follow the zonation map of the state and ensure that we return Calabar to that beautiful green city we know.”
The Governor believed that the task force would help the government to ensure that the Greater Calabar City project is on track as they were incursions into major routes in the capital city of Calabar.
He pledged to support the task force with the necessary logistics, demanding that they should have a human face, and that they should interface with the Ministry of Lands as well as other relevant government agencies. He said any act of demolition must have his clearance.
The task force is led by Engineer Oxford Jonah Egbe twhile other members include Ogbada Owai Obia, Joseph Utiang Ikpali, John Jude Agim, Asuquo Ekanem Edet and Ufot Ekaite Ikpali, while Francis Asuquo will serve as the Secretary. Mr John Fidelis Inaku is the legal adviser.