Abia State Government has appealed to property developers in Aba, the State’s commercial hub to seek approval from Local Government Town Planning Authorities in the area, comprising Aba North, Aba South, Ugwunagbo, Osisioma and Obingwa, to seek approval before embarking on the construction of any building structure or business facility, to avoid loss.
This directive is in line with the State Government’s Aba Urban Renewal programme, aimed at restoring the master plan of Aba, which has been erroded by illegal structures, street markets, even in residential areas.
The Town Planning Authorities re-emphasised this call on Friday, after the demolition of a two storey commercial building under construction, along SAMEC Road, Ariaria, in Osisioma Local Government Area, for lack of approval.
Chigozie Ahaiwe, executive secretary, Osisioma Ngwa Town Planning Authority, who led the team, explained that the proposed shopping mall was demolished, because the developer did not get approval of the Authority, stressing that it was being developed illegally.
According to him, the developer did not consult the Authority before commencing the development of a motor park and a shopping mall together.
He said that allowing such a facility in that already busy business environment, would cause heavy traffic on that section of the road, daily.
“Imagine the traffic it would have generated along that road. You are aware that we sealed the site sometime ago. They broke the seal with impunity and in contravention of the extant Planning law”.
On the information that there is tussle on the ownership of the land, Ahaiwe said that the Authority is not involved in any court case with regards to the site.
He said that people are becoming more conscious of the State’s planning laws and the need and benefits of approaching the Planning Authorities for professional advice and approval before embarking on any developmental activity.
He suggested that the space could be used as a Park-and-Ride facility to ease the parking challenges around Ariaria business corridor and enjoined stakeholders to join hands with the Government to sanitise Aba, to attract more investors and improve the State’s economy.