By Osondu Ahirika
The Uyo Capital City Development Authority, UCCDA, have appealed to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, AKHA, to urgently review and amend the body of laws regulating housing and urban development in the capital city for better results in town planing and development control.
The UCCDA made this position known when the Executive Chairman of the Authority, Prince Enobong Uwah led top management staff to interface with the newly inaugurated members of the House Committee on Housing and Lands at the Conference room of the AKHA.
Prince Uwah who described the essence of the visit as an opportunity to meet minds with and share ideas with members of the committee with a view to also develop a working plan for the housing and development control in Akwa Ibom State thanked the members for their dedication to serve and support for the UCCDA.
Prince Uwah pledged to work with the Committee to achieve the Agency’s set goals, and used the opportunity to outline the challenges he met when he assumed office as UCCDA helmsman, which includes non-existence of a permanent office space for the agency after 30 years of its creation, backlog of files for approval , poor public perception and low staff morale etc.
He stressed that he first mission was to provide solutions for the challenges he met, disclosing that, approvals for applications are now concluded within 2 weeks with staff efficiency now changing the poor image of the UCCDA.
Prince Uwah also informed the Committee, that, the UCCDA permanent secretariat that was built within a year by his administration is ready, while the Authority is currently working to kick start a new model estate, to be known as Martha’s Vineyard along Idoro Road in Uyo.
The UCCDA Chairman explained that, the mission of UCCDA is not just demolition of structures, but for development control which is their primary role in the fast growing capital city to ensure the city’s master plan is not distorted or abused.
Prince Uwah decried the fact that, the present Law’s doesn’t empower the agency to make certain critical decisions which will benefit the people and the capital city and called for a review of the relevant Law’s to address current realities on sundry issues, such as insurance in case of building collapse, encroachment of government Land’s among others.
While responding to the presentation by Mr Uwah, the Chairman of the AKHA Committee on Lands and Housing, Rt. Hon Udo kierian, commended the Authority for the effective discharge of their duties despite the challenges. He pledged the committee’s readiness to work with the UCCDA and sued for an all inclusive stakeholders meeting of those involved in the housing sector of Akwa Ibom state, so that people will be sensitized on the need for development control which requires the cooperation of all citizens.
Those who were present at the meeting included the Chairman UCCDA, Prince Enobong Uwah, the Secretary /Head of Administration UCCDA, Mr Anietie Akpan, Director legal, Bar Eme Ukpong, Head of Finance /Account, Mr Godwin Bassey, Head of Town planning, TPL Freddy Eshiet, Head of PRS, Mrs Aniekan Edet, Head of Estate, Josephine Uboh.
Members of the Committee on Housing and Lands present at the meeting were the Chairman, Rt. Hon Udokierian Akpan,
Rt. Hon IDongesit Ntekpere,
Rt. Hon Emmanuel Ekpenyong and
Hon. David Lawrence.