Concerns Mount as Lagos Cracks Down on Unauthorized Land Reclamation
The Lagos State government is expressing grave concern over the surge in illegal land reclamation activities along the Ikoyi-Lekki shoreline, with particular impact on areas including Osborne Foreshore I and II, Park View, Banana Island, Kings Smart City, Lekki Foreshore, and Lekki Phase I.
The government is taking action to halt all developments that violate its established setback policy, signaling the end of the road for developers engaged in these illicit activities. A stop-work order has been issued on all illegal land reclamation and dredging activities on Lagos Island.
Ekundayo Alebiosu, the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development in the state, made these revelations during a weekend familiarization and inspection tour of various project sites. He expressed deep concern about the illegal land reclamation occurring on government-sanctioned islands, particularly the Gracefield and Pocket Islands at Chevron, Lekki.
"We are currently on Gracefield Island, which is managed by Gravitas Investment, and we have also inspected Pocket Island nearby and this bridge point. There is a significant amount of illegal land reclamation happening in these areas," the commissioner stated. "These are separate islands, not extensions. However, there must be a minimum setback of 200 meters to serve as drainage for water to flow from the island to the lagoon. Regrettably, the setback plan has been disregarded, and this is unacceptable," he emphasized.
THE MINISTRY'S NEW APPROACH: INTRODUCING CROSS SUBSIDIES IN HOUSING PROJECTS
KEY PLAYERS ADVOCATE FOR A FRESH APPROACH TO FOSTER SUSTAINABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
For instance, Gracefield Island, in its initial phase, covers about 100 hectares of land space, with potential for expansion in its designated zone as per the Lekki master plan. The island city is situated 2.3 kilometers into the lagoon from Chevron's shoreline, and its 2.3-kilometer land bridge, constructed by the developer, establishes it as a true island with a welcoming effect on residents and visitors.
Read also: Real Estate Growth Requires An Enabling Environment, Say Experts
The commissioner pointed out that the drainage meant to channel water into the lagoon has been completely obstructed due to land reclamation by some developers. This lack of a setback, absence of drainage, and the blockage of the bridge are all issues of great concern. "I have directed that they be served a 'stop work order.' Otherwise, we will face significant problems. We want to reiterate our strong stance on zero tolerance for illegal land reclamation and dredging. We will continue to ensure that violators are penalized until our waterfront is free from all unlawful activities," he assured.