The Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmad, has commended the State Governor, Alhaji Abdul Fatah Ahmed, for signing the State Urban and Regional Planning Bill 2017 into Law, saying that the prompt assent to the Law has ushered in a new dawn in the State.
The Speaker made the observation in Ilorin, while reacting to the Governor's assent on the Bill.
Dr. Ahmad in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdul Rahman Sanni, said "the era of proliferation of illegal Petrol Stations in residential areas and erection of corner shops in every available public space are now things of the past in the state".
The Speaker then urged the Governor to ensure immediate release of the N300m allocated to the sector in 2018 budget, to ensure immediate take off of the two agencies established by the Law, for effective implementation of the Law, adding that “a masterplan for Ilorin is 20 years behind schedule and will still not be achievable, if the state government fails to inaugurate the two agencies and ensure their immediate take off ".
He described the outcome of the exercise as a combination of over 2 years of legislative doggedness and intensive engagement with citizens, professionals and government agencies”.
This according to him, was another clear testimony that democracy was working in Kwara State.
It would be recalled that the legislative arm of government, under the leadership of the Speaker, had in August, 2015, inaugurated an Ad- hoc Committee on Proliferation of Petrol Stations, in which 6 Filling Stations were ordered to be demolished, while another set of Petrol Stations, were recommended for various sanctions.
The Speaker then determined that the weakness in the extant law, was a major problem, and that a permanent solution lied in an entirely new law
Under the new Law, stiffer penalties await culprits, while the state Town Planning and Development Authority has been unbundled, with the establishment of the Physical Planning Authority and the Development Control Agency to conform with international best practices.