By Osondu Ahirika
The Akwa Ibom State Government has placed a temporary ban on the development of new Petrol stations, in, and around the capital city of Uyo.
The Chairman, Uyo Capital City Development Authourity, UCCDA, Prince Enobong Uwah, announced the measure during an interactive meeting with the Akwa Ibom State Coordinating Committee of the independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, when they paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
Prince Uwah said the temporary suspension order, placed on further development of new Petrol stations had become necessary because, the State Government was worried by the spate of indiscriminate siting of Petrol stations in residential areas and places not designated for such structures. A situation he noted, is not only dangerous for public safety, but amounts to a flagrant abuse of the Uyo Capital City masterplan. He said such uncontrolled development will not be tolerated by the UCCDA under his watch.
Prince Uwah warned that, anybody who flouts the suspension order and goes ahead to develop any Petrol station, anywhere in Uyo, will have the facility demolished without compromise. While suing for support and cooperation from IPMAN, for the UCCDA and the government of Governor Udom Emmanuel, Prince Enobong Uwah disclosed that, those who make applications to UCCDA now get their approvals within two weeks as the unnecessary bottlenecks have been eliminated by the new leadership of the Authourity.
He therefore charged members of IPMAN and indeed the general public, who wish to make transactions regarding property development in the city to approach the UCCDA, and be rest assured of efficient and timely services. Prince Uwah emphasized that anyone doing business with UCCDA should avoid paying any bribes or cutting corners as that will be resisted by the new UCCDA.
Earlier, the State Chairman of IPMAN, Pastor Ubong Isong, who led other members of the Committee to the meeting, felicitated with Prince Uwah and the new UCCDA Board on their appointment. Pastor Isong noted that, given the pedigree of Prince Uwah and his track record of performance in previous offices he has held, IPMAN has no doubt that he will succeed in his new assignment and reposition the UCCDA for better services to the State.
The IPMAN boss who pledged the cooperation of the body with the new leadership of UCCDA, commended the State government for the political will to stand up to illegal and indiscriminate proliferation of Petrol stations, which he agreed, is hazardous to public safety. Pastor Ukpe called for transparency and impartiality in implementing the temporary ban order, and indeed, control of development by the UCCDA, maintaining that, this is the only way to resolve the problem of proliferation of Petrol Stations.
Prince Uwah who was joined in the meeting by the Secretary and Head of Administration of UCCDA, Mr Edwin Akpan, also announced plans to set up a Committee to resolve the issue of proper siting of Petrol stations and general development with members drawn from the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Lands and Survey and IPMAN, to oversee the matters arising.
The UCCDA Secretary thanked the IPMAN Coordinating Committee for the courtesy visit, stressing that, they are the very first to do so since the new Chairman assumed office.
Prince Uwah thereafter conducted members of IPMAN around the UCCDA offices which is currently being refurbished, in line with the policy of the new board to reposition the Authourity and boost staff morale by creating a conducive working environment for them and would be clients of the Authourity.