Anambra Govt to Go Tough against Land Grabbers

By Jude Atupulazi

In a move to guard against encroachment into government owned lands in the state, the Anambra State Government has directed the Commissioner for Housing to immediately commence erection of a perimeter fence around the government land designated as Judges’ Quarters in Onitsha.

The Commissioner for Information, Sir Paul Nwosu, stated this during a Post-ANSEC briefing at the Government House, Awka.

‘It has come to the attention of Council that land grabbers have made significant encroachments into the government’s land at Onitsha which was set aside for judiciary quarters. Whatever illegal structures erected on the property should be fenced in as well.’

Nwosu also said that the state government had noticed that some civil servants, both retired and those still in service in the Ministry of Lands, were complicit in what he called the illegal allocation and re-allocation of government land.

‘The duplicitous documentations without due process in land allocations are partly responsible for the proliferation of illegal structures and irregular acquisition of land all over the state,’ he said.

The Commissioner said that in the spirit of impartial justice, government had approved that since illegal property developers were being penalized by removal of their illegal structures,

‘Those who fraudulently cooked the papers that gave them access to those pieces of land should equally be sanctioned accordingly,’ he said, pointing out that ANSEC further directed the Attorney General to quickly initiate the process of amending aspects of the Anambra State Land Laws to enable the prosecution of both retired and serving civil servants, as well as past commissioners who were culpable in shady land transactions in the state.

According to Sir Nwosu, in order to actualize the administration’s policy to improve the greenery in Anambra State, henceforth, building approvals for low density areas must ensure that the major building did not exceed 25 percent of the land while 25 percent of the unbuilt area (open space) must be allocated for greenery.

‘For medium density areas, the main building should be built on 33 percent of the land while 25 percent of the remaining space must be designated as green area. In the case of high density areas, 60 percent of the land should be used to erect the actual building while 25 percent of the unbuilt space should be dedicated to greenery,’ the Commissioner noted.

He added that the essence of those measures was to ensure that in the years ahead, buildings, compounds and neighbourhoods would wear a uniform greenish look that would not only beautify the Anambra environment, but equally improve the quality of air.

‘All run-off water in every compound must be contained within the same compound and not left to spill into the streets and roads where they erode the soil and eventually culminate in erosions. The Ministry of Justice has been directed to work out the legal framework for this policy,’ he said.

Sir Nwosu concluded that during the ANSEC meeting, the Commissioner for Women’s Affairs was directed to step up the campaign against child exploitation, street begging and trafficking.

‘She should ensure that those who run foul of the extant laws on these manner of child abuses are promptly arrested and prosecuted,’ Nwosu said.