Lagos demolishes structures obstructing drainages
The Lagos State Government reaffirmed its commitment to impartially apply the law during the ongoing demolition of illegal structures in Lekki Phase II and surrounding areas. Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, made this statement in Lagos on Saturday, emphasizing the government's dedication to ensuring justice and fairness for all.
Wahab, who faced numerous pleas from occupants and owners of fully constructed structures situated on drainage setbacks and marked for demolition, asserted that halting the demolition would amount to a double standard. He pointed out that the demolished duplexes occupied the same drainage setback alignment as those yet to be removed.
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The government's unwavering goal is to reclaim its drainage setbacks and reinstate its master-plan. Mr. Wahab expressed regret that the government had to make the tough decision to demolish fully constructed structures to restore the drainage setbacks for effective stormwater flow.
The commissioner clarified that the owners of the demolished structures in Ikota were well aware of their violations, as they had engaged with the ministry since 2020 when most of the structures were still at foundation levels. Numerous notices were served in this regard.
Wahab described the extent of encroachment in Ikota as unimaginable, with people having built on canal paths. He stressed the government's determination to curtail such encroachments.
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He personally met with the owners of the structures slated for demolition in the Ikota area and advised homeowners to obtain drainage approval, along with other necessary approvals, before commencing construction to avoid such situations.
Wahab reiterated that this enforcement would be an ongoing endeavor, emphasizing that individuals cannot blame the government for the consequences of their environmentally detrimental actions.
Addressing the closure and reopening of certain major markets in the state, Mr. Wahab noted that markets were closed due to violations of the State Sanitation Laws. To reopen, market executives are provided with a checklist to meet the specified conditions.
The commissioner highlighted the deplorable state and unhygienic conditions in these markets before closure, stating that trading food commodities and other items in such environments was unacceptable.
In addition, the state government will conduct a safety audit in the markets through the safety commission to ensure the safety of traders and patrons in these spaces.
During the tour, Mr. Wahab was accompanied by the Permanent Secretaries of the Office of Drainage Services and Environmental Services. The team visited several areas, including Osapa London and major housing estates in Ikota, Lekki County Estate, and Victoria Garden City Estate.