…urging landlords to report anyone pasting and demanding money as building approval fee to ANSPPB or the Police immediately
Anambra State government has warned hoodlums parading themselves as members of the Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria (COREN) and extorting money from landlords in the state to desist from such acts or face the full wrath of the law.
The Chairman, Anambra State Physical Planning Board (ANSPPB), Barr. Chike Maduekwe who gave the warning in a press briefing, said government would not fold its arms and watch holigans take over its responsibility.
Describing the development as worrisome and disturbing, Maduekwe said he had informed the COREN leadership in the state which denied knowledge of the development, urging the public to be on alert and report such individuals to the Police.
He said, I’ve been inundated with barrage of queries by government officials and private individuals about some anomalous situations that came up last one week.
“A group of young men are going around in many parts of the state placing demand notices in the name of Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria (COREN), announcing they’re now in charge of Physical Planning and Building Control and Regulations and demanding money from house owners.
“It’s important to inform the public that following challenges in Physical Planning and Building Control and Regulations, including infiltration of quacks, leading to building collapses, we recently had an understanding with all professional bodies for some form of collaboration to ensure integrity and sanity in the process of building and development control.
“We also met with members of COREN who requested for understanding so that engineers with applications for permit certifying them as in currently practice. They were to give us their project compliance forms which the engineers must fill and we send back to them for endorsement with a fixed fee of N10,000.
“Suddenly, what we see are persons moving around, especially in Oba, Idemili North and South and some parts of Onitsha and Awka, perhaps impersonating COREN, delegating responsibilities to holigans and hoodlums, interfering with our work.
“Someone called to inform me that they told him they’re now in charge of Physical Planning Board and demanded N300,000 from him.
“I’ve called the COREN Chairman and he said he’s not aware of the development. We need to send a warning to these holigans that the state cannot tolerate it. They can’t shortchange government.
“If they don’t desist, we’ll bring them to the full embrace of the law for impersonation and running a criminal enterprise. I learnt they’ve pasted over 500 forms in different buildings, including those with approvals, demanding huge sums of money.
“I’ve reported the matter to the state leadership of COREN and I’ll take it up with the national. They can’t take over the responsibility of a regulatory body set up by law.
“We want to inform the public that anyone that pastes anything on your building, demanding money as approval fee, please report them to us and the police immediately.”