- Residents seek intervention over alleged land conversion
Hopes of subscribers in the completed Omole housing scheme along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to gain access to their homes have been rekindled, following the government’s recent move to settle the rift with the residential association.
The Omole scheme comprising five blocks of 60 unit homes of one bedroom, two bedrooms and three bedrooms flats were constructed on some vacant lands located within the Omole Phase II Estate.
However, the vertical construction was disputed by residents of Omole Estate (Phase II), who instituted a lawsuit against the Lagos State Government.
The issue was nevertheless resolved by both parties through an Out of court settlement with an agreement that the State Government should provide additional infrastructural facilities for the estate to take care of the new residents.
To allow allottees gain access to the homes and speedily achieve its mandate in reducing the deficit, the State last week initiated a dialogue with the Executives of Omole Estate (Phase 11) Residents Association LagosHOMS Omole Estate.
The Guardian learned that the meeting held at the office of the Commissioner for Housing, Moruf Akinderu-Fatai was a follow up of the out -of- court agreement reached between the residents of the estate and the government.
At the meeting, Akinderu-Fatai informed the residents that the government is ready to fulfill its own part of the agreement with the community.
He said: “The Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has approved additional infrastructural facilities for the Omole Estate (Phase II) and work on the projects will commence with immediate effect.
“As a responsive government, we have made all necessary arrangements to meet up with our own part of the agreement in the interest of all the parties concerned.
“We promise to provide more homes for Lagosians and we will do all we can to fulfill that mandate irrespective of the obstacles,” he added.
Speaking further, Akinderu Fatai revealed that the infrastructural package approved for the estate includes the dualisation of Admiral Oduwaye Road, comprehensive rehabilitation of Lekan Asoni Street, Oyebode Street and Durosimi Abogunwa Road, as well as the provision of street lights and drainages.
Before now, some allottees, who had satisfied all basic requirements, including paying the initial deposits, had found it difficult accessing their homes because of the impediment.
They had expressed dissatisfaction with the scheme on the ground that, the government has reneged on its promise to hand the keys to their apartments, despite satisfying all necessary requirements.
In a related development, the Community Development Association (CDA) of the Gateway Zone Estate, Magodo, Phase 1, Lagos State, has appealed to Sanwo-Olu, to intervene on the plan to convert a green belt area to an estate.
The group asked the governor to set up a non-partisan committee to review the case, save the lives and properties of residents in the area.
The Chairman, Secretary of the association, Oyebode Ojomo and Tony Ebinum in a statement last week accused a property development company, traditional authorities and the state’s House of Assembly Committee on Land Matters of festering the plot.
According to them, the green area is a natural floodplain that is prone to heavy annual flooding. The CDA said the New Town Development Authority (NTDA) helmsman had called a meeting with some residents recently but were threatened to consent to the environmental degradation of the green belt area despite the opposition of the estate.
They expressed shock that events at the meeting “clearly showed that the NTDA had made a 360-degree turn from its previous position that an estate could not be sited on the floodplain.
“The meeting turned out to be a monologue of threats and intimidation to railroad the CDA into teaming up with him and his collaborators to consent to the environmental degradation of the green belt area despite the opposition of the estate and against the opinions of environmental experts in the private and public sectors. The green area is a vast gorge adjoining our estate.”
Several red flags have been raised at different platforms emphasizing the imminent threats to human lives and property, if the Lagos State Government permits the despoliation of the green belt zone, which essentially and primarily is a flood plain.
The group said, “The NTDA officials further stated that part of their recommendations was that an access road should be created for the settlement via Olowora if they insisted on building on the flood plain.”
Source: THE GUARDIAN