Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River on Thursday banned the illegal imposition of levies on tank farm operators by some of his appointees.
The directive was given in a statement signed by Mr Linus Obogo, Deputy Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.
Tank farm operators in the state had earlier complained of the continuous harassment by some of the aides of the governor on some levies which were illegal.
Ayade directed that henceforth, no appointee of the state government should be seen within the vicinity of the tank farms in the state and Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Calabar under any guise.
“Every of such appointees should immediately cease imposition of any kind of levy on the operators of the farms.
“It is unconscionable to impose levies on petroleum products which are ultimately passed on to the consumers, at a time when Nigerians are already going through a lot of hardship.
“Severe sanctions await any appointee found flouting this directive in the state,” he warned.
In other news the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Thursday sealed off a popular pub and event centre, Zodara Bar, on No. 2 Bujumbura St. at Wuse II, in Abuja metrpolis.
Reports have it that the operation was carried out by the FCTA Multi Departmental Operations, headed by the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC).
Addressing newsmen shortly after sealing of the property, the Coordinator of AMMC, Shuaibu Umar, explained that the operation became necessary following a court order which indicated a change of land use and illegal activities constituting a nuisance to public peace.
” First and foremost, the property that is in use now is constituting general environmental nuisance to the whole of the neighborhood. The whole of the area is disturbed by the activities going on in this building.
” As you can see, it is a multi departmental operation headed by the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC).
“All departments are involved namely, Park and Recreations, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Department of Development Control, Enforcement Team from the office of the FCT Minister.
“We received so many complains from whatever activities happening here and we followed all necessary processes.
“We went to court and obtained a seal off order. Whatever we are doing here is enforcing what the court has directed.”
He emphasised the need for the owners of property to always ensure compliance with the land use of the area, adding that they must comply with the environmental and all necessary guidelines governing the operation either as residential, commercial or recreational in the FCT.
“Whatever we do here is that we must not allow any impunity to take place in the FCT.
” We have so many complaints and we gave many notices to the occupant of this property yet they proved to be very recalcitrant.
” And we have taken the necessary steps in order to sure that we rid this neighborhood of any nuisance that is emanating from this place.”
On his part, the Director of AEPB, Mr Osi Braimah, stated that the FCT was a creation of law, adding that all activities in the city were guided by law.
” If you are going to build a property, you must get approval from the Department of Development Control, if you want to change your land use you must get an approval.
” Also the noise level in the FCT is controlled. So clubs, gardens and all that must comply with the noise requirements.
” This is why we are forced to close this property because people living around this area can no longer sleep or rest because of the activities going in this building,” he said.
Also, the Director, Department of Development Control, Malam Muktar Galadima, said all development in the FCT are guided by the Abuja Master Plan.
” This plot in question was designed and approved for residential purpose but they have converted the land use and it has become a nuisance to the environment.”
Mr Ikharo Attah, the Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, said that the minister insisted that all the legalities happening around the area must stop.
” If you look at the parking alone here , it is very disturbing and painful. But the beauty of it all and what we will be taking home from here is the fact that FCT agencies under AMMC are driving home a very strong message that you don’t abuse and rape the Urban and Regional Planning Law and AEPB Act and go free.
Reports have it that the illegal activities going on at the property include a restaurant, barbing saloon, club house, which is a violation of the original allocation of the plot meant for residential purpose.
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