…As Lagos lifts embargo on construction of petrol stations, gas plants***
The acting Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the immediate decentralisation of operations of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) unit.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that before the current development, operations of SARS were centralized at the Force Headquarters.
NAN also recalls that SARS operations were recently reorganised following alleged unethical conduct by personnel of the unit.
Adamu gave the order at a meeting with officers in the rank of Commissioners of Police and above on Monday in Abuja.
He said that with the new arrangement, commissioners of police in the 36 states and the FCT would assume full command and control on all SARS in their commands.
The police boss said henceforth the SARS unit in the force headquarters, would be under the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FCIID).
He said that the DIG FCIID and CPs would be held laibe for any professional misconduct resulting from the operations of the units in their commands.
Adamu also directed them to evaluate the units in their commands and submit a report to his office within two weeks.
The police boss also announced the disbandment of the Special Investigation Panel (SIP) and Special Tactical Squad (STS) and other quasi-investigation and operation units of the force.
He said that the DIG FCIID would take over and review all cases being currently handled by the units.
Adamu said that a comprehensive reorganisation of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counterterrorism unit and Special Protection Unit (SPU) would be undertaken.
“This re-positioning process will eventually cascade down to the zonal and state command levels,” he said.
The IG said that the essence of the reorganisation was to restore order and stop the current slide in policing standards.
Adamu also said it would discourage the proliferation of multiplicity of outfits competing for operational space in unprofessional manner.
He said that the capacity of personnel of the force would be enhanced towards situating its operations within the practice of intelligence-led policing.
He said that at the end of the reform, a protocol that would document its outcome would be developed.
The police boss charged the officers to remain dedicated to their duties by exhibiting the highest level of leadership and character.
In the meantime, the Lagos State Government on Monday said that it had lifted the embargo on the grant of planning permit for the construction of petrol stations with immediate effect.
Mr Rotimi Ogunleye, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, disclosed this at a news conference in Alausa, Ikeja.
He said that the government had also approved the implementation of a reviewed guideline detailing the requirements to be met by operators seeking planning permits for petrol filling stations and gas plants in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on April 26, 2017, the ministry announced the ban on granting of permits for the construction of petroleum filling stations.
Ogunleye said that the state government came up with the ban to ensure safe and orderly siting, operation and management of petrol filling stations and gas plants, for the overall safety of residents.
The state government also placed embargo on the approval of gas plants due to the recurring fire outbreaks as a result of non-compliance with standard safety measures.
Ogunleye said the embargo was to check the proliferation of petrol filling stations and gas plants, and its consequences on safety of lives and property.
According to him, the government was also concerned about improving the aesthetic value and the efficiency of operation in the planning, building control and urban regeneration of the state.
The commissioner said that with the reviewed guidelines, investors intending to embark on developments of this nature and existing operators were directed to strictly comply with the provisions of the reviewed templates.
“Investors are enjoyed to apply for planning information from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development before embarking on any development.
“This will allow them have firsthand information about the kind of development that can be done in a specific area of the state.
“Planning information is a free service rendered by the Ministry to the public, providing information on land use zoning, permissible use, plot size, building coverage and height, deviation setback, air spaces and parking requirements.
“I hereby appeal to all relevant stakeholders and general public to ensure the successful implementation of the new guidelines, as erring developers would be penalised according to relevant laws,” Ogunleye said.