As part of efforts to curb the incessant cases of building collapse, the Delta State Government has declared that developers who default in obtaining valid building permits from the government will be made to face the long arms of the law.
The Delta State Commissioner for Urban Renewal, Olorogun Arthur-Akpowowo, who made this known, said the new measure was mandatory to avoid any possible construction mishap.
According to him, there will be three stages of approval for building permits, namely pre-approval, approval, and post-approval.
The News Agency of Nigeria quoted the commissioner as saying that the transfer of the state’s Department of Town Planning and Urban Renewal Planning Board to the Ministry of Urban Renewal had given the ministry the responsibility of developmental control in the state.
He said, “What I mean by developmental control is if you have your private land and you need to build on it, you have to come to us through our offices across the state. There are Area Planning offices across the state where you can go and get your building plans approved. If you are lucky to get government land, you have to still go to the Urban Renewal Planning Board to get your plans approved.
“The Ministry of Urban Renewal today is now in total control of the state’s development in terms of permits,” he said.
The commissioner further stated his ministry was well-positioned to run the departments and agencies with the re-organisation of the state.
He said, “We are in charge of urban space management so that we can guide the construction activities and make sure they comply with our building code.
“The incidence of building collapse will be drastically reduced because we are now going to have three approvals; the pre-approval, the approval, and post-approval to ensure that we don’t just give permits without a follow-up.”
“We have adopted this stringent approach because there have been incidents where people come with plans to build a storey building, and you give them approval for a storey building, they end up going to build three or more storey buildings because there is no proper monitoring and follow-up.
“These are going to be highly reduced if not eliminated because we will give permit and follow-up to ensure that what the person is doing is in line with our permit, by checking the building environment, the architects, the surveyor and everyone on board.”