Oyo State Government has said that illegal conversion of residential buildings for commercial purposes will now attract N25m fine just as over 1000 illegal structures in flood prone areas have been marked for demolishion.
The Director-General of Bureau of Physical Planning and Development Control, Waheed Gbadamosi stated this on Tuesday in Ibadan during the Ministerial Briefing, in conjunction with the Project Coordinator, Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (IUFMP), Mr. Dayo Ayorinde and the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun.
Gbadamosi said that there is a grace period for such unapproved commercial buildings to be reverted to residential buildings in order to avoid being sanctioned.
He noted that the cost of conversion of a residential building to a commercial venture used to be N5million, but the Oyo State Executive Council recently increased it to N25million to ensure effectiveness on physical planning and development control.
Gbadamosi explained that over 1,000 structures in flood prone areas, along river banks and high tension wire would be demolished, noting that 114 structures without approved building plans have been demolished in Ajoda New Town and another 200 illegal structures in the town have also been listed for demolition.
According to him, “Illegal structures are rampant in Oyo state and this led to the creation of a task force on petrol stations and illegal structures by the state government in November last year. The task force discovered that close to about 70% of the petrol stations in Ibadan are not covered in the planning approval.
“This has given us an indication that the other parts of Oyo state will be worse if stations in Ibadan are not covered with approval. We are determined to go there any moment from now because the state government has approved the funding to embark on that tour.
“Also, it is disturbing that there are many illegal structures at Ajoda new town. The Ajoda new town was the creation of the former military administration which was conceived to lessen the human pressure on the city of Ibadan and so they decided to create a new town and name it the Ajoda new town along the Ibadan-Ife road.
“Unfortunately, some unscrupulous land agency started selling the land to unsuspecting members of the public. All the structures are not covered with any planning approval and so far, we have demolished about 114 of the structures. We are still going to demolish more. We have over 200 left to be cleared because the people that applied formally to have plots of land in that area are being denied the right of getting unto their apportioned land. So, demolition on Ajoda is a continuous process, it has not stopped.”
Alhaji Gbadamosi added that most private radio stations in Ibadan and the rest of the State use residential buildings which were in contravention of the State regulation on physical planning, urging owners of these radio outfits to do the needful by seeking approval for due conversion of the buildings to commercial status.
While speaking on Government’s efforts at combating the perennial flooding in Ibadan, the Project Coordinator of Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project, Mr. Dayo Ayorinde, revealed that about 18 major bridges within Ibadan had been repaired with the World Bank Assisted loan granted to the State government.