Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, has restated his administration’s avowed determination not to rescind its planned demolition of private residences, worship centres, factories and business complexes, marked for demolition without government approval, national building code and for blocking the drainage systems in Onitsha, Nnewi and others.

He said the exercise was in line with his administration’s Urban Renewal Plan to make Anambra State a liveable place for all Nigerians, irrespective of Ethnic, Tribe and Religion placement.

He noted that the exercise is to prevent cases of building collapse and the activities of land grabbers in the state.

Soludo, made the vow on Saturday, through the State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Dr. Obinna Ngonadi, when he led a joint taskforce and professionals including the media to monitor the various sections of Ochanja market Onitsha, where over 1,000 buildings were marked for demolition for illegal construction with no extant approval from the government.

He said the need to demolish the structures cannot be overemphasized.

Nigerian Tribune gathered that most of the marked buildings had structural defaults, including cracked walls and decking, felling pillars and sands, roads obstructions, among other challenges.

The governor added that the administration under his watch, has intention to decongest markets, as well as make them inhabitable to the International standard, and warned owners of illegal structures to quickly remove them or get ready to pay the government to that effect.

Speaking also, the Chairman, Anambra State Physical Planning Board, Barrister Chike Maduekwe, assured that Anambra State Materials Testing Laboratory would visit all the markets to test the structural integrity of their buildings so as to find out those to be spared with some amendment and those to be outrightly demolished.

Speaking in an interview with Nigerian Tribune, on the exercise, the Caretaker Committee Chairman, Ochanja market, Mr Bonaventure Muo, hailed the governor for the move, assuring that they would continue to support government programmes to sanitise the markets. 

He urged the state government to apply human face in handling the issues.

The team later visited Building Materials market at Ogidi and Ogbunike, near Onitsha to access their level of compliance to the traders/markets enumeration exercise, and hailed traders for complying to the government orders.

Addressing the traders, governor Soludo said the data capturing exercise would have to gather comprehensive data of all traders and their enterprises with a view to taken proper care of their welfare, security and other purposes.

Speaking in a separate interviews, the Chairman of Building Materials market (Ogidi), Mr Jude Okonkwo and Mr Adinu Onyechi of Building Materials 2 and 3 (Ogidi and Ogbunike), commended the governor for the move, which they promised to mobilise all their members to participate actively as it was of their good interest, adding that the enumeration exercise will help curbed criminal activities in the state.


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