Owerri- As part of efforts to control erosion and floods, the Imo Government will soon begin the demolition of structures constructed close to highways and drainage channels.
Uche Nwosu, the Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, gave this indication in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Owerri.
Nwosu warned residents of major cities in the state against erecting structures on such sensitive places, and advised those intending to acquire land to properly investigate such plots through the ministry.
He said that drainage systems in Owerri would be cleared to ensure free flow of flood waters and eliminate any threats of erosion.
According to him, the government will not hesitate to punish anyone caught in the act of drainage blockage.
Nwosu noted that some individuals were in the habit of dumping waste materials into drainage channels, and urged such persons to desist from the act.
According to him, many people lost their homes to last year’s floods in the state, adding that the government had taken precautions to guard against any recurrence of the disaster.
``Many people in the state lost their homes and businesses to last year’s flood disaster, but I am assuring Imo people that government is doing its best to stop a recurrence of such disaster.’’
He said that the move was part of government’s pledge to safeguard the lives and property of the people, and promised that the ministry would always evolve plans to make Owerri a modern city.
Nwosu noted that the state government had commenced the payment of compensation to owners of demolished structures.
According to him, the government has reactivated its Geographic Information Agency (GIA) with the task of computerising land matters, to checkmate speculations and forgery of certificates of occupancy.