Edo State Government has commenced extensive stakeholder engagement in line with plans for the development of the Benin City Masterplan and the state’s regional development plan, which are geared towards designing a holistic 30-year socio-economic development template for the state.
The Edo State Ministry of Physical Planning, Urban and Regional Development, which is charged with the responsibility of developing the plans is organizing stakeholder engagement sessions across local governments in Edo South Senatorial District to ensure buy-in and collaboration among key actors in the communities.
The team is meeting with the Enogies, Odionweres, Okhageles, Senior Special Assistants (SSAs) & (Special Assistants (SAs) from Edo South to sensitise them on the Benin City Masterplan and the Edo State Regional Development Plan.
The team has visited communities in Uhunmwonde, Orhionmwon and Ikpoba Okha Local Government Areas (LGAs), with sessions planned for Ovia South West & Ovia North East, Egor and Oredo LGAs.
Other government representatives present at the meeting include Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Hon. Monday Osaigbovo, and Special Adviser on Political Matters to Governor Godwin Obaseki, Lady Uwa Osunbor, among others.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning, Urban and Regional Development, Ms. Isoken Omo said the onus for the development of communities falls on the Council of Enigie, as custodians of land in their communities, noting that they have a responsibility to keep proper records.
“This will aid verification to enable us to know where our various community boundaries are,” she said.
On his part, Hon. Osaigbovo said: “Proper planning is an integral part of development. The Godwin Obaseki administration is creating an exhaustive plan for the entire Edo State to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people.
“You need schools, you need hospitals and health centres; you need healthy spaces to operate your businesses, good markets to trade, beautiful living areas. That is progress, and to achieve all that, we need to work as a team for the state to be healthy. Don’t sell all your lands without proper planning and research. It will hinder all these developments from happening.
“This stakeholder engagement meeting is only an introduction to the greater things ahead. We will be going to individuals and will be meeting with stakeholders one-on-one. Government is not willing to demolish anyone’s structure, but from now on, let us all do the right thing.”
During the engagement in Uhunmwode, the Enogie of Ehor, Dr. David Ehigiamusoe Igiehon, JP spoke passionately about the needs of his people and appealed for Uhunmwode to be used as model to test the Obaseki-led administration’s regional development plan.