The General Manager, Kogi State Town Planning and Development Board, Yisau Aliu says the marking of Senator Dino Melaye’s constituency office building was not done for political reasons saying that the town planning board is a government agency that will not be used to fuel political feuds.
Giving reasons for marking the building for enforcement action, Aliu said: “The building plan was submitted by the agent of the developer but fell short of necessary requirements for approval as it has no statutory Right of Occupancy while the building space is above the required space standard.”
Aliu who spoke to our correspondent in Lokoja said: “The agent was advised to seek alternative site or possibly acquire more space to meet up with the required ratio and process relevant title documents but he failed to adhere to the directives and went ahead to develop the said site.
“Several ‘stop work’ notices were served without response from the developer or his agent. The State Town Planning and Development Board has no option than to enforce relevant laws, hence, the marking of the structure.
The town planning boss called on the public to desist from spreading false and defamatory information against constituted authorities as it is not in the best interest of the state.
“Those who are responsible for the erroneous allegation have inflicted disservice to the public by attributing the marking of the building to politics when all available facts point to gross violation of Town Planning laws by the developer. If the building is allowed, it will constitute great danger to its inhabitants and immediate environment.
“As a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and an anti-corruption crusader, it is expected that he will fight against any act of law infringement. We expect the Senator to lead the fight against lawlessness and recklessness on the part of people in high places. No amount of blackmail can force us to succumb to the blatant irregularities which characterized the development of the said Constituency Office of Senator Dino Melaye.
“The law is a no respecter of anybody. Anybody who runs afoul of the Town Planning laws, no matter how highly placed, will be made to account for his or her demeanor. As the Senate Committee Chairman of the FCT, Sen. Dino Melaye is expected to have a fair knowledge of Town Planning regulations.
We urge the developers of all buildings recently marked to stop further work on them as the Board will not hesitate to enforce its mandate.
“The Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alh. Yahaya Bello has been accused of using the State Town Planning and Development Board to stop the development of Senator Dino Melaye’s Constituency Office, we want to state categorically that the State Town Planning and Development Board is not a political body but a government agency with clearly stated and defined mandate dated back to 1991 and does not work outside its mandate.
While he explained that the Board was established to “promote and secure the physical development and environmental improvement of the entire state through orderly control of development and the use of land, to formulate, monitor, control and coordinate physical and regional activities,” he explained that in order to achieve the set goals, all parts of the state were therefore declared “Planning Areas.”
“By implication, the entire state is a planning area to ensure orderly development in every nook and crannies of the entire State.
He said in carrying out its mandate, the board ensures that all buildings and any development are subjected to all necessary town planning approvals. This is the standard in all states of the Federation adding that the board considers some factors before granting building approval among which are ownership title, purpose clause and building space ratio.