Posted: October 11, 2011 in Uncategorized
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From Ati Terkula In Makurdi

The Commissioner manning the newly created Benue State  Ministry of housing and urban development, Hon. Simon Kwaghbula , has declared that the original plan layout towns in the state has been neglected, as house owners build without recourse to the Urban Development Board, the newly created parastatal  is also tasked with the responsibility of urban planning.

The commissioner, who spoke to ati terkula, lamented the neglect of the Urban Development Board a situation he claims is responsible for the flooding evident around the state capital. He also made known his intention to embark on a mass demolition of houses than do not comply with the state development plan.

“from what I saw yesterday and today, it is not something to laugh about I will have to take us back to the original plan of the state which means I will be embarking on a demolition tour of non-compliant buildings. This is so that we do not go the way of Ibadan.” He lamented.

Kwaghbula who is a trained banker also revealed plans by his ministry to attract investment into the state through housing and urban projects.

He further decried the mismanagement of the state owned mortgage bank, Ben House Building Cooperative Society, who he said had run down due to unprofessionalism and neglect and vowed his commitment to putting it back in shape. He said the all state owned structures under his parastatal will be sold out to indigenes of the state with government holing only 10% capital share so as to encourage profit generation and professionalism.

“ we all know that government is a bad manager so we are planning on selling all government owned structures especially Benhouse to private individuals with special consideration for indigenes of the state and people from the middle belt, so that government will control only  10% of the share capital to ensure profit generation and smooth running of the establishment.” He informed.

The ministry according to the commissioner was  determined to look into the owner occupier housing project embarked upon in the previous administration as it claims that though the houses were meant for civil servants, most of them went to politicians who in turn have failed to live up to their mortgage agreements. He also told ati terkula that his ministry has been tasked to retrieve all houses under the office off the Head of Service, Secretary to the State Government and Benue Investment and Property Company and also the construction of 75 housing units.

It could be recalled that on assumption of office, State Ministry of housing and Urban Development, embarked on a demolition exercise in which a house said to belong to the Charman of Ukum Local Government Hon. David Sevav was said to be razed down had caused a lot of public comments.


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