From Tony Osauzo and Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
As part of efforts to support the Benin Digital drive, the Edo State Government, yesterday, announced plans to extend telecommunication bandwidth service of Fibre Optic to the 18 local government areas of the state.
The Commissioner of Communication and Orientation, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, who disclosed this while briefing journalists in Benin City, however, clarified that the state government would not be laying an independent Fibre Optic cable, but would ensure that all telecommunications companies operating in the state “are encouraged to extend their Fibre Optic services to all the nooks and crannies of the state, especially the 18 local government headquarters and not within the Benin metropolis as we have now”.
Te gesture, he explained, became necessary in view of the envisaged growth the state would experience as government continued with its plans of making the state industrial hubs, one that would compete with the digital innovation across the globe.
The Commissioner stated that the state government would not relent in its war against land grabbers and other undesirable elements working to frustrate the efforts of the government, especially its dream of building a new mega new city that would accommodate the industrial development that the various efforts of the government would bring about
He, therefore, condemned Thursday’s invasion of the State Secretariat by protesters from Irhirhi Community, whom he alleged, threatened civil servants and performed rituals by slaughtering animals at the secretariat.
“Six people were arrested and by Monday, they will be charged to court. Government is resolute and nobody is shaking. We know the land grabbers are fighting back. Government directives must be obeyed and the government is going to carry on as long as it is beneficial to the people” Nehikhare said.
He also announced that the Edo State House of Assembly has passed the Edo State Physical Planning Urban and Regional Development Bill into Law, adding that the law “repeals the Town and Country Planning Law, (Cap 165) Laws of Bendel State 1976. This is remarkable in that the repealed law has been in existence for over 46 years and long overdue for a review.
“Also passed into Law is the Edo State Development and Building Control Agency 2022. This law is subject to the Physical Planning, Urban and Regional Development Law of 2022; and is enacted to execute policies on development control, planning permit and building control in the State, this is in addition to other functions enshrined in the Law.
“As an offshoot of this enactments, the Ministry in conjunction with the GIZ; organized a one day Policy Mapping Training on the 17th of November, 2022; at the John Odigie Oyegun Public Service Academy (JOOPSA) this is to prepare the Ministry for the Policy formulation that will follow the passing of the 2 laws”, Nehikhare explained.
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