Population explosion, illegal structures threaten Plateau’s landscape, air quality
The allure of the Plateau is gone. The serenity that once defined Jos, the Plateau State capital and attracted tourists, visitors and environmentalists to the hillside town is no more there. The allure and the beauty of the city have since been washed away gradually by untamed population explosion and encroachment of its greenery by external agents, which continue to degrade and debase the core attributes that made Plateau a beauty on a hill.
Jos, which is also noted for its inhabitants being exceptionally peaceful, courteous and accommodating have also lost that branding due to the emergence of a younger generation, particularly around the Jos/Bukuru metropolis, that has embraced some form of behaviour alien to their forebears. Besides the green landscape has given way to emerging slums in the city centre, turning many people off.
Similarly, security challenges, armed robbery, kidnapping, banditry and ritualistic killings have pervaded the city and robbed it of its innocence. Many reasons have been adduced for this intrusion, one of them being overpopulation, which has caused residents to deface the beauty of the city with indiscriminate buildings to provide accommodation for its teeming population. Within the city’s landscape, illegal structures have since sprung up on waterways, hilltops and open spaces without recourse to town planning laws.
The Acting General Manager of Jos Metropolitan Development Board, confirmed the obnoxious building attitude and warned that such buildings risk being removed because they are illegal.
This indiscriminate erection of illegal structures within the once beautiful city has offended visitors and tourists to the town and they are seeking a check on the appalling situation before it gets out of hand.
To stem the tide of looming environmental decadence in the state, the Plateau State Government has moved to stop indiscriminate buildings and sanitize the sector in order to restore the beauty of the capital.
Accordingly, the State Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Town Planning, says no fewer than 2,245 Rights of Occupancy and Certificates of 975 have been issued to owners of approved land and property in the state within the last one year.
“All construction must abide by the greater Jos Masterplan and all buildings without approval are marked for demolition by Jos Metropolitan Development Board, JMDB, which is a body responsible for building permits”, he said.