Ekiti State Government has cautioned residents of the State against erecting buildings and other structures indiscriminately and without necessary government approval .
The State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Hon. Karounwi Oladapo, gave the warning on Tuesday as officials of the Ministry sealed some buildings and structures in Ado- Ekiti that were erected in contravention of the extant rules on safety and structural integrity.
Some of the structures that were sealed by officials of the ministry include gas plants of two popular filling stations- AA Rano in Adebayo area and NNPC along Iworoko road as well as a two- storey building housing a popular eatery in Adebayo area.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after the exercise, Hon Oladapo said that government would no longer take it lightly with anyone who carry out construction without building permit.
He added that owners and developers of such buildings would face the wrath of the law for ignoring government directives.
Karounwi who berated owners of illegal structures who are in the habit of molesting officials of government, said such owners would henceforth be made to face the full weight of the law.
The Commissioner called on all owners of properties with no government approval to urgently carry out necessary regularization, stressing that the ministry had concluded plans to meet defaulters with stringent measures.
He added that government would soon launch “operation show your building plan” and embark on awareness campaign in all the local government areas, where officials of the ministry would meet the stakeholders and those buildings without plan were to be regularized in accordance with the law.
Hon. Karounwi explained further that any building that would be erected in the state must first get the approval of government. He said the exercise was not about an individual, but to ensure safety and security of the people.
He added that government would not wait for any calamity to befall the state before taking necessary actions.
On flooding, the Commissioner reiterated the commitment of Governor Biodun Oyebanji administration to ensure that residents were no longer allowed to build structures that would disturb free flow of water leading to avoidable cases of flooding.
“If you look around, you will see we have a lot of planning problems in Ekiti State, particularly, Ado-Ekiti. People just put up building and structures indiscriminately without any recourse and regard to the building code and urban and regional planning law of 2011. We want to send the right signal to Ekiti people that never again would anybody, no matter how highly placed, put anything on the ground without seeking to obtain the development plan, without having an approved building plan. Anybody who does that becomes a criminal because you do that in contravention of the law, and the ministry will not hesitate to take such individual to court.
“What we did today was just a starting point and the ministry is not going to relent, some properties were sealed up today and the ministry had contacted the owners several times for them to do the needful. The truth about it is that even before you embark on any development, the ministry must approve of it, but on this instants, they refused to seek the approval of government and the government was not aware of the type of structure they want to put on ground and whether it is compatible with the existing land uses or where they want to build is in consonance with the building code of the state or in line with urban and regional planning law.”