The commissioner stated this while briefing newsmen on Monday in Asaba.
Okenyi said that the ministry has set up a committee with a mandate to regularize the land titles illegally occupied at the Okpanam Core Area II A, located opposite the Asaba Airport.
He said that the committee term of reference was to ensure the regularisation of land titles through the issuance of C of O and that all structures within the affected areas meet the minimum stipulated standards.
“The committee will also ensure that owners of the buildings obtain planning permission for their buildings and development among other things.
He said though it was not in the interest of the ministry to pull down any structure, occupants of such buildings have been giving the option of retaining the land by paying regularization fees within 90 days from now.
The commissioner said that in spite of the waivers, there were still some structures that for obvious reasons could not be given approvals for Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) because they were obstructing path-ways in the state.
According to Okenyi, owners of those structures that meet the stipulated standards will pay definite amounts to cover the cost of the land, building and development permission and Certificate of Occupancy within 90 days.
“But for buildings erected on sewage line and obstructing the roads, they will not benefit from what we are doing now. Government will take appropriate decisions on them. We are compiling a list of such structures illegally erected on waterways and at the appropriate time those structures will go down.
“On a general note demolition is our last resort but there are some structures that for obvious reason that must be pulled down like those in the university land at Anawai campus which has been seriously encroached”.
The commissioner, however, advised all who are interested in acquiring land in the state to clarify the status of the land from the ministry to avoid issues of falling into the hands of land speculators.
“Deltans should be aware of land speculators. If you are interested in purchasing any land in the state, whether private or government land, I will advice that you come to the ministry of lands to clear the status for such land,” Okenyi said.