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Anambra gov’t pulls down burnt petrol station in Onitsha

By Sunny A. David, Onitsha
 The Anambra State Government has demolished a burnt filling station located at DMGS roundabout, Onitsha.
The operation was led by the General Manager of the State Physical Planning Board, Mr. Victor Okpoko, and jointly supervised by officials of the Board and men of the Nigeria Police Force.
The filling station, sited in densely populated area in the heart of the commercial city of Onitsha, was gutted by fire last year when a petrol tanker fell and exploded there, destroying property and buildings around.
After the fire incident, the State government had set up a committee to identify the remote causes and advised her on the way forward.
Part of the recommendations by the panel was the relocation of the filling station and sequel to that, the Board had consistently written the developer to pull down the burnt structure without result, hence the operation.
Beside the filling station, also, is an ongoing beautification project by the State Government, which has turned around the outlook of the famous DMGS roundabout.
Speaking during the exercise, Mr. Okpoko explained that government’s overall intent for the exercise was to keep residents of the area safe, noting that the Board is poised to effectively drive the vision of Governor Willie Obiano with respect to achieving orderly structural development of cities in the State.
Mr. Okpoko commended the Governor for simplifying processes at the Board by supporting the creation of offices for it in the twenty-one council areas of the State, assuring that they are committed to offering professional services to developers.
One of the persons whose shop was razed down by the inferno, Mr. Ifeanyi Amah, commended government for taking the decisive step to save lives.
The team later proceeded to remove shanties and buildings built around the erosion site at Nkpor flyover.
It will be recalled that earlier this year, the State Government and the World Bank through NEWMAP, has signed the contract and paid mobilization to MCC Nigeria Limited for control works on the erosion site, but due to the refusal of occupants of the shanties to move, the contractor could not commence work.
The leader of the operation, Mr. Okpoko revealed that the occupants have been served a fourteen day notice to vacate the place which had expired.
An occupant of the area, Mr. Patrick Ekpetowu who acknowledged that they were properly served, regretted that the owner of the land had collected huge amounts of money from them as rent, appealing to government for a day-grace to enable him pack.

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