Thursday, 26 December 2013

UCCDA reads riot act BY JOSEPH OKON

The Chairman of Uyo Capital City Development Authority UCCDA, Engr. Ignatius Edet has warned communities and developers within the Uyo capital city to desist from encroachment on government lands. 

Engr. Edet stated this last Friday during a one day stakeholders meeting on physical development organized by the UCCDA to enlighten traditional rulers, youth and women groups, opinion leaders and others living or doing any business within the capital city on government plans in the state.

He said that henceforth, anyone who wants to build any structure within the capital city area must first obtain approval from the UCCDA before embarking on such construction work else it will be declared illegal by the UCCDA.
The Chairman further warned people against touts who may pair themselves as staff of the UCCDA to defraud people, adding that anybody who wants to do any business with the UCCDA should visit their corporate office at Esuene street, within Abak Federal Housing Estate.

Engr. Edet who is the former Speaker of the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly explained that before anybody approaches the UCCDA for approval of any work, the person must first get a building plan from a town planner and obtain an architectural design from a certified architect.

He also stated that henceforth, any burial within the capital city must be approved by the UCCDA before such burial takes place otherwise the UCCDA will remove any corpse buried without the board’s approval.

The Board Chairman lamented the situation where those he referred to as stubborn developers refuse to obey their instructions and rather resort to attacking staff of the board and destroying their properties during official assignment. He therefore warned those in the habit to desist from it as the penalty for such act will be undesirable. 

On his part, the Commissioner for Lands and Town Planning, Obong Eno Akpan said that the UCCDA being a state government parastatal do not act on it own except it is directed and given approval by the government.
He called on people to have respect for Lands so that the future generation will not suffer untold hardship. 

The Commissioner also advised those encroached on government lands to desist from it, adding that government will deal with any person whose land has been sold to the government if he or she goes back to use the land.
He charged Village Heads to act as watch dogs for the government by reporting any illegal attempt to them; adding that any Village Head who allows anyone to trespass on government’s land will have his certificate withdrawn from him.

Also speaking, the representative of the Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Mr. Victor Umoren said that many people do not know who a town planner is until an ‘X’ is marked on their properties. He therefore called on Akwa Ibom people seek a town planner just as they have personal lawyers and doctors.

He maintained that after obtaining an architectural design from a certified Architect for any building, people should also consult town planners who assess the plan before sending it forward to the UCCDA for approval before commencing the building to be sure that the plan is in tune with the beautification master plan of the town.

In a swift reaction, the Village Head of Oboi Etoi village, Obong Eno Thompson Ekpo warned the Commissioner, Obong Eno Akpan and called him to order charging him against disrespecting the Traditional Rulers. He expressed that the government do not pay salaries to Village Heads and should therefore not be disrespectful to them by threatening to withdraw their certificates. He expressed dismay that government who should caution the youths to be respectful are the ones who make the youths rulers who do not respect or listen to their Village Heads.

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