The government is giving a facelift to the state capital.
The Nasarawa State Urban Development Board, NUDB, on Tuesday demolished the fence of the multimillion naira Ta,al Hotel owned by the state governor, Tanko Al-Makura; as one of the illegal structures along Jos road Lafia.
The structure, which was an annex and extension of the hotel, served as the campaign office of Mr. Al-Makura before his election.
The demolition exercise carried out by the NUDB, in the presence of security operatives, affected illegal structures in the city centre including containers abandoned along the road.
Food vendors, building materials shops and tea sellers along Jos road were not spared as bulldozers demolished their sheds. Shops adjourning the police barracks were also affected.
The exercise which started in Karu last month and will be carried out in all major towns in the is part of the state government’s efforts to do away with illegal structures in the state.
Already car wash operators along Shendam Road, Lafia, were the government house is located have been sent packing, with the government planting flowers in the vacated lots to beautify the road.
The state government had also recently commissioned a multimillion naira land reform office tagged Nasarawa geographical information system, NAGIS, in Mararaba, the gateway to the country’s capital, Abuja.
The General Manager in charge of operation at the board, Haladu Abubakar, said that the exercise was intended to remove all structures erected without the permission of the board and along the roads and to beautify the city.
He said the board would soon commence the planting of grasses and trees along the road shoulders, adding that the demolition exercise would be continuous.
“Lafia is no more a local government but a state capital so we have to give it a facelift befitting of a modern state capital,” he said.
He clarified that those affected by the exercise were served notices over a month ago, noting that there was also a stakeholders forum last week organised by the board to inform people of the exercise.
However, Stephen Obi, a carpenter along Jos road, whose workshop was pulled down, denied any prior notice from the board concerning the demolition.
“I went to drop my children in school and on my way to the shop, I saw bulldozer pulling down structures including my shop,” Mr. Obi said.
He said that the owner of the plot of land leased it to them to erect structures and could not really say whether the land was properly acquired or not.