Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 3 December 2015 | 3,262 times
The Abia State House of Assembly yesterday rejected the recommendations of its ad-hoc committee on the siting of a filling station beside Okpara Square in the heart of the capital city, Umuahia, on the grounds that the site is not suitable for such a project because of its size and proximity to the road.
Consequently, the House decided to summon the approving authorities of the project to appear before it and explain their roles in giving the green light to the construction of the said filling station which lies close to the Mission Hill-Ossah Road that leads into Umuahia city centre from the Enugu-Aba-Prot Harcourt Expressway.
The House decided to invite the approving authorities after considering the report of the Tony Mezie Nwaubani-led three-man ad-hoc committee that was mandated to investigate the construction of the filling station in question located at Plots 1 and 2 Nsukka Street by Okpara Square.
In its report, presented by Hon. Nwaubani, the committee said it found out that the Director of the proposed filling station, Mr Sampson Nwokorie, got interim development permit from the Umuahia Capital Development Authority, as well as other approvals from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to construct the filling station; Final Fire Service Clearance from the Fire Service Department of the Ministry of Transport and Police Clearance Certificate from the Central Police State, Umuahia.
In the light of the above, the Committee recommended as follows:
“That the proposed site has enough space for the construction of a filling station provided the building will be shifted backwards.
“That the Director of the filling station, Mr Sampson Nwokorie, should appear before the Executive Session of the House of Assembly with the approvals for the construction of the filling station.
“That sequel to the approvals by the relevant government Departments and Agencies, the House could allow the Director of the filling station to continue with the construction work.”
However, other were not impressed by the report, pointing out that the location of the filling station is not in compliance with the regulations and guidelines of the watchdog of the oil industry, the Department of Petroleum Resources. They argued that the filling station is quite close to the road, residential houses and offices, including a bank.
Reporting progress on what transpired at the Committee of the Whole where the report was considered, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Martins Azubuike, said in rejecting the Committee’s report, the lawmakers agreed that “on Monday, the 7th of December, the General Manager, Umuahia Capital Development Authority, and the Comptroller, Fire/Safety Services, Abia State, should appear before the House to defend approvals given by their respective offices for the siting of the said filling station at Okpara Square.”
•Photo shows Abia Speaker, Rt. Hon. Martins Azubuike.
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