The move, according to the State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan is to woo fleeing private investors who had abandoned plans to invest in the state due to delay in processing the C Of O.
Besides, the Government has directed that with effect from Tuesday (Jan 8, 2013) this week, any building commenced without a valid building permit would be pulled down without notice.
Governor Uduaghan, who announced these decisions on Wednesday in Asaba during the State Economic Dashboard meeting, explained that it was part of measures to sanitize the system and make it more efficient and result-oriented.
The meeting which is a peer review mechanism, makes for self evaluation of government performance, the deficiencies and how to overcome such deficiencies and improve on the areas of strength of the ministries, departments and agencies.
According to the Governor, indiscriminate erection of buildings without valid permits was responsible for uncontrolled urbanization, flooding, sanitation challenges and other environmental problems faced in most towns and cities across the state.
“Beginning from yesterday (Tuesday) if a building is started without a building approval or permit, the building will be pulled down. An approval must be gotten from the Ministry of Lands before the construction of any building is commenced”, he stated.
Similarly, any official found wanting in the issuance of a building permit when such permits should have been denied, would be sanctioned.
On C of O, the Governor said that targets of three weeks and two months have been set for government lands and private lands respectively to get a certificate issued.
“A target has been set that when an applicant puts up an application for a certificate of occupancy for a private land, that applicant having done everything correctly must get the certificate of occupancy within two months. For a government land, the certificate of occupancy must be obtained within three weeks”.
He said that the measures have become necessary to remove the clogs hindering economic growth and development of the state as well as enable the government achieve its dream of building a state with less dependence on oil revenue.
In addition, Dr Uduaghan said that these measures would attract investors and tourists to the state thereby increasing the revenue profile.
Also, he announced that the laws establishing the State Waste Management Board and the State Direct Labour Agency would be reviewed to make them report directly to the Ministry of Environment and Works respectively to eliminate conflicts and make for better service delivery.
The governor said the state Environmental Protection Agency (DELSEPA) would be organized and strengthened for better service delivery adding that a waste re-cycling plant would be installed in the next six months and nine months in Asaba and Warri.
He disclosed that the relevant bills would soon be sent to the House of Assembly to give legal teeth to the envisaged changes, promising to relocate the Asaba dump site presently disturbing activities around the Asaba International airport.
“We are going to manage cleanliness in Asaba to ensure that all streets are kept clean. We will also not allow the walk ways to be abused because presently mechanics and petty traders are abusing the walk ways.”