From Habiba Ibrahim-Sam
The Mega Agenda of the Godwin Obaseki-led administration in Edo State has received encomiums by top management staff of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Ltd (NPDC).
This was during a visit to the company by officials of the Ministry of Physical Planning, Urban and Regional Development led by the commissioner, Isoken Omo.
The commissioner and her entourage including Mrs Grace Aihie, permanent secretary, were received by Mr Ali Zarah, managing director, represented by Mr Umar Hamza, executive director, Services, and other top brass of the NPDC in their new headquarters at Ogba-Airport Road, in Benin City.
The commissioner welcomed the team to the new location and spoke about the mandate of the ministry and its vision of creating, developing and delivering a sustainable built environment in the state as well as its mandate to ensure a commodious and harmonious environment for all to thrive.
She noted that the ministry is currently engaging stakeholders in the built environment in order to aggregate the interest of all in effectively discharging its functions and that the NPDC being a key player and major employer in Nigeria’s socioeconomic space, needs to be incorporated in the Ministry’s plan of action.
“We cannot plan if we do not know what is on ground. It is keyto know what areas we can engage in order to help you thrive better in the environment.”
Isoken Omo noted that Benin City had one of the most organised plans but that it was distorted over time, and the Edo State government is serious about the wellbeing of the people and hence committed to restoring the organised plan by the implementation of the two master plans, the Edo Regional Development Plan and Benin City Master plan.
These two plans, she stated, would help check environmental degradation, and particularly check the upsurge in cases of Lassa fever due to filth in some parts of the state.
She also stated that the ministry has begun an awareness drive to discourage illegal sale of land and encroachment into government lands.
“The two master plans will include green areas, parks, neighbourhood and leisure centres and check the depletion of the ozone layer through unnecessary felling of trees.
“Our work is to ensure, among other things, that what we have in the environment matches the content of the master plans and a level of control and enforcement is required to maintain sanity in the environment.”
The commissioner also highlighted efforts by her ministry to change the narratives to include the current recertification exercise of gas stations to ensure that safety mechanisms are put in place and solicited the collaboration of the NPDC in continually sensitizing its clients on the safety standards in the oil and gas sector.
In his response, Mr Umar Hamza commended the state government for its initiatives in urban renewal and regeneration and assured the Commissioner that all areas of collaboration will be put in motion in order to achieve the mandate of the ministry which he described as laudable.
“We will collaborate to sustain a healthy environment.”
Also speaking, Mr Adegbesan Adeniran, executive director, Technical Services, stated that the areas of collaboration and interfacing with the Ministry will be endless and commended the commissioner for implementing the laudable ideas of the state government, particularly in efforts geared towards turning the ancient city to a modern state capital.