Delta State Government said it would not hesitate to prosecute trespassers, who encroach on government lands across the state.
The State Commissioner for Lands and Surveys, Chief Emamusi Obiodeh, gave the warning on Tuesday October 24th 2023, at a meeting with officials of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) at Government House Annex, Warri.
The Commissioner observed and frowned at the action of SPDC for issuing a stop-work order to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc despite the fact that Shell had released substantial part of their previous holding to the State Government and divested their interests in Osubi Airport to Shoreline Oil Services Limited, before the recent takeover by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
The Commissioner added that such action was against the good intentions of the State Government which is aimed at improving the lives of the ordinary Deltans.
Obiodeh noted that no responsible government would fold its arms and watch some recalcitrant developers and land grabbers take possession of the state’s lands.
He said that the Delta State Government have always regarded SPDC as partners in the development and growth of our dear State.
“As part of that partnership drive, SPDC commenced the development of the Osubi Airport and allowed the State government to acquire the unused area in addition to a large expanse spanning through Ohorhe, Adagbrasa, Ugolo and Uwagba for the upscaling of the Osubi Airport to an international airport.
“Out of the area acquired from Shell and the communities, the State Government is providing a portion to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc for use temporarily as a fabrication yard.
“This is to enable the company settle down quickly to commence the preliminary works and construction of the flyovers recently awarded to the company by the Oborevwori administration which is poised at giving Warri and Effurun a new lease of life.
“The State Government is therefore asking for the support of Deltans to enable it succeed in its M.O.R.E Agenda which is in the interest of the citizens,”
The Lands Commissioner warned those who had already encroached into government lands to come to the Ministry for regularisation.
“The State Government is using this opportunity to issue a very stern warning to those who have been encroaching on Government lands and those who are parading fake and forged documents to desist and retrace their steps as Government is bent on recovering it’s lands and may prosecute these land grabbers for trespass of state lands and forgery of government documents.
“I wish to also remind those who have enjoyed the State Government’s benevolence through the allocation of lands and those with Certificates of Occupancy to pay their annual ground rents to date to avoid penalties recommended for delayed payment.
“All Circle offices of the Ministry of Lands and Surveys have been directed to report every encroachments to the Office of the Honourable Commissioner for immediate action,” he stated.
The Commissioner had on assumption of office, warned those who built in error on government land to hurry to the Ministry, for regularisation and proper documentation.
The Honourable Commissioner urged Julius Berger to hit the ground running in line with the Governor’s speed to develop Warri, Effurun and environs now that all logistics have been sorted out.