The Abia state government has warned property developers in the state against harassment, intimidation and arrest of planning officials who visit construction sites to monitor compliance with the guidelines.

The government has also urged property owners to build to specification to avoid building collapse, warning that those who break building codes will face the wrath of the law.

Pointblanknews.com has gathered that the state government is joining forces with the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) team, to restart the state structural plan that was launched ago 30 years by the first military administrator of Abia State, Group Captain Frank Ajobena. .

The Commissioner of Lands, Surveys and Town Planning, Dr Chidi Onwuchuruba, who said this during a three-day meeting with the UN-Habitat team in Aba, noted that successive administrations of the state had made efforts to demolish the illegal buildings and sanitize the city according to the master plan, but could not realize the dream due to a lack of political will.

He warned that more than 10,000 buildings would be demolished to realize the structural plan of Aba city which will improve the economic and aesthetic potentials of the city.

Onwuchuruba described the structural plan as a legacy project with multiple positive effects and praised Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for reviving the 30-year-old dream for the state and charged the people to embrace the project.

He said; “People who build should find a better place and build according to the rules. Every time you see the Planning Authority staff, they are probably checking compliance with the rules; so don’t arrest or harass them. In the year 2000, the administration of Governor Orji Uzor Kalu set up a committee to see how to sanitize the city.

“The committee, which I was part of, reported that 1,500 buildings were to be demolished, but they were unable to implement it. In 2009, during Theodore Orji’s tenure, he set up another committee to review the status of property developments in Aba. The committee that Theodore Orji set up reported that a huge number, 4,500 buildings, were to be demolished in Aba. Theodore Orji could not apply it. One day, a governor, who will have the will to implement such a report, will topple more than 10,000 buildings in Aba.

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Town Planning, TPL Ikechi Bestman Aaron explained that the ministry is committed to completing the project in record time as there would be a continuous brainstorming by stakeholders to ensure that Abia cities become the Dubai of Nigeria and Africa.

He urged the stakeholders to provide correct data which would produce an accurate structural plan for the state.

In her address at the event, UN Habitat Team Leader Dr. Omoayena Odunbaku hailed the state government’s determination to carry out the structural plan, adding that the plan is essential. to the state’s development trajectory.