I am highly delighted to be in your midst on this important occasion of the Public Hearing on Town and Country planning (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and Urban and Regional Planning and Development Bill, 2017. The Bills are Executive Bills and their objectives have been well enumerated by the Chairman House Committee on Land, Housing and Urban Development, Hon. Adamu Usman.
At the inception of this 8th Legislature, we made it clear that we are committed to passing people oriented Bills. This is because of our firm belief that Government belongs to the People. Therefore, the essence of this Public Hearing is to collate the views, opinions and suggestions of members of the general public towards having a sustainable Urban Development, Urban regeneration and building control policies for the State and for the well being of Kwarans.
Distinguished invited guests, Kwara State and particularly Ilorin Metropolis are facing developmental challenges. It is widely acknowledged that the State Capital is one of the fastest growing Cities in Nigeria. This largely owes to its geographical location as the gate way between the North and South and the relative peace to accommodate those running away from various insurgency. I must therefore commend the State Government for sponsoring these Bills which seek to find solutions to these problems.
Ladies and gentlemen, the good news here is that the Urban and Regional Planning and Development Bill, 2017 intends to give enormous powers to the Commissioner Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.
This is one of those things lacking in the previous Laws where Town Planning and Development Authority was not adequately empowered and funded to carry out its statutory responsibilities.
It is our commitment to serve you diligently towards ensuring that Kwara State is better than we met it. I want to therefore urge you all to feel free to contribute meaningfully and sincerely as your suggestions would be taken into consideration.
I therefore, have the singular honour and privilege to declare this Public Hearing open. Wishing you a fruitful deliberation.
Thank you all and God bless.