The Edo State Government has warned property owners in the state over the unlawful conversion of buildings approved for residential purpose to religious and industrial buildings.
In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Hon. Edorodion Oye Erimona, the state government condemned the practice, noting that such action is not only illegal but harmful.
He noted, “the Edo State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development has observed the illegal and harmful conversion of buildings from the uses/purposes for which they were initially approved and built, to other uses within the state.
According to him, “For example, the conversion of a residential building to commercial, religious, industrial and other uses, is a gross violation of the Town Planning Laws of the state. Regrettably, such indiscriminate conversions of the use of buildings are responsible for the chaotic nature of our settlements across the state.”
He added, “The Ministry condemns this act of illegality and wish to advise property owners to submit their proposed change of use applications to the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, EDPA Building, Sokponba Road, Benin City or any of its Area Planning Offices across the state for consideration, and subsequent approval before any such conversion is done.”
He urged property owners, who have already converted their property to other uses, to submit applications for conversion to the ministry for necessary action.
“The Ministry will not hesitate to invoke appropriate sanctions against defiant property owners in line with the extant Town Planning-Laws,” he warned.