The Edo State Government has urged citizens to adhere to building plans and ensure to seek permits when converting their buildings to other uses.
This call was made by Commissioner for Physical Planning, Urban and Regional Development, Isoken Omo, during an on-the-spot assessment of the aftermath of a fire incident on Aimure Street, along Boundary Road, GRA, Benin City.
Three stores had been gutted by fire when responders from the Edo State Fire Service arrived at the spot to stop the fire from spreading to other shops and adjoining buildings.
According to Omo, “Thank God no life was lost. We only lost properties. It’s painful but our fire service personnel were here on time to stop the fire from spreading to other shops or buildings.”
Noting that residents in the area breached the state’s building regulations, she said: “The area doesn’t meet our developmental requirements as these shops are in front of residential buildings.
“We have served notices on residents in Ihama, Boundary, Airport Road and adjoining streets, especially for those that have changed the use of their building. We have served the first notice and some others have gotten their second notice. This is not in our master plan and should not be here.”
She said fire outbreaks might occur when people disregard building plans and do as they like, noting “We need to educate our people on the consequences of disregarding building plans.”
Mr. Osmond Abba who suffered losses from the fire incident, commended the response of Edo State Fire Service who saved the day.