THE Bayelsa State Government has constituted a special task force to retrieve all government lands illegally acquired by individuals, communities and companies within and outside Yenagoa as part of efforts to create a planned modern city.
At the inauguration ceremony of the task force in Government House, Yenagoa, Governor Seriake Dickson charged members to commence the process of recovering all such lands from trespassers in the next two weeks.
The governor, who condemned the practice whereby individuals and communities within and outside Yenagoa take over government lands with impunity after compensation has been paid, noted that the development has contributed to making Yenagoa a slum.
He therefore directed the Committee for Urban Development, Board of Physical Planning and Development Control, Ministry of Lands and Housing and their agencies to notify owners of buildings that do not conform with the State Master plan for such structures to be demolished.
Governor Dickson, however, noted that, the team responsible for recovering government lands and property would carry out an assessment for structures already built on government lands and if the development attracts a waiver, an appropriate levy would be paid.
He said land developers were expected to follow due process by acquiring an approved building plan from the Ministry of Lands and Housing and other relevant agencies as it was the practice in any modern city.
According to Governor Dickson, his administration is creating land for development purposes in the new Yenagoa city, Agbura and Ayama for low, medium and high density planned areas, which will be unveiled soon.
To enable members of the task force carry out their duties effectively and successfully, the Governor said security agencies would support them to deliver on their assignment.
Responding, Bobolayefa Woupele, chairman of the Special Task Force, expressed gratitude to the Governor for finding them worthy for the task ahead and promised to work with all stakeholders to meet government’s expectation.
— Oct 17, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT