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Metropolitan Development Board cautions against indiscriminate land use

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The General Manager, Jos Metropolitan Development Board (JMDB), Mr. Kefas Yilwrang, has cautioned residents to guard against the indiscriminate purchase and use of land for unrecommended purposes.

He made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Jos while speaking on the increasing spate of gas and petrol station businesses in the town.

Yilwrang noted that though the City’s master plan is yet to be executed, residents should desist from wanton use of lands for certain purposes as such actions attract penalties.

“Now we have different kinds of people coming up, venturing into the business of gas plants and petrol stations. Hitherto, we never had those gas plants, and so it was never an issue, now they just buy land anywhere they think they can make profits.”

“But the location may be injurious to those that are already staying there, and so we normally will have to verify this and if it is not suitable, we advise you to move to another place. But some go ahead and buy and once it is rejected, it’s an issue. So that’s why we advise members of the public to always consult before they even buy land for any project,” he said.

Yilwrang said it is ‘putting the cart before the horse’ to purchase land before investigating from appropriate authorities whether it is a suitable location for a particular purpose.

“You can buy land, but when you buy to determine what project you can do there is subject to guidance, it is subject to other planning regulations that you need to consult. So that you will know whether when you bring your proposal it will be accepted, you don’t put the cart before the horse.”

“If you get the information it makes it easier for you to plan, and for you to know that you can sink in your money and the project will come to life. But some go ahead and then they have problems and then they start running helter-skelter,” he said.

The GM acknowledged that as an institution, they are set to protect the public interest but where their rules are outrightly contravened sanctions must be applied.

He added that they sometimes experience grumblings and complaints from the public but nothing can be done after the violation.

“And that is where we do have problems, when we reject some plans or proposals, then people begin to wonder why should we? Do we not want to allow development to take place?”

“But we cannot, because when you are proposing for what we know, planning wise, is not acceptable. Then we can’t approve it. And when we don’t approve it, it means you can’t build, but we will tell you where you can have that.”

“That is why we always advise that if you want to build if you want to carry out any development whether residential, commercial, educational, industrial, or otherwise consult with the authorities first. Public interest is what planning is about, planning is about enhancing and protecting the public interest,” he said.

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