The Lagos State Planning and Environmental Monitoring Agency, (LASPEMA), the Lagos State Building Control Agency, (LABSCA), and the Lagos State Special Operations Task Force have joined forces to demolish illegal structures along the Lekki-Epe Express road.
Speaking during the demolition, General Manager LASPEMA Tpl Daisi Oso confirmed that months ago, appeals were made and contravention notices were served to all car lots, shanties owners, and other informal business operators occupying these setbacks along the Lekki Epe Expressway axis, which all came to nothing for these illegal occupants.
He explained that the encroachment on these setbacks and IOS, which pose serious threats to the safety of citizens’ lives and property, as well as future developments in the State, cannot be ignored by the state government since there is a social contract of protecting lives and properties hence the urgent intervention in order to restore sanity on these setbacks/IOS be it roads, railway, power transmission lines, wetlands and gorges among others throughout the State.
“Lekki remains very critical area and one of Nigeria’s fastest growing centre, where both government and private sectors are putting a lot of huge investments, in view of this, the state government will continue to preserve its environs and anything less becomes an irritant, because this government is committed to achieving on his T.H.E.M.E.S agenda. This ongoing demolition exercise will continue throughout the State especially where infractions are noticed on Setbacks and Incidental Open Spaces”, he noted.
The General Manager, who expressed dissatisfaction over all structures erected under Power Transmission lines, insisted that Lagos State Government under any authority did not issue any approval/permit to occupants of the concerned areas for either business or residential purposes against claims from some quarters.
According to him, the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2019, Sections 2e and 2n, where the Agency derives its Mandate from pursuant to monitor and regulate all activities on these setbacks and IOS against abuse and misuse in the State”.
Oso noted that the structures demolished around County Estate and Ikota Villa along Lekki Epe Expressway by the officials of the State Government was considered as a resultant factor for deterioration of Urban Environmental quality of that corridor and many more of such will have to go for our wellbeing in the state as a whole.
“It is noteworthy that these demolition exercise will not only reduce environmental problems but enhance security of lives and properties of those living around this environ, pedestrians and vehicular movements that has been hampered are now going to be abated and this will improve the quality of lives in the area”, he affirmed.
Tpl Oso said: “In the last few years, the government of Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has invested massively in infrastructural facilities development which has been quick to be defaced by these illegal structures thereby altering the initial plans of development and endangering the aesthetics of the environment”.
Stressing further Tpl. Daisi Oso said series of complaints had been lodged by LERSA on their fears at the level of degradation going on in Lekki environ which necessitated a stakeholder engagement earlier in the week where over 80 inhabitants participated in a virtual meeting where they cried out for help to the state government to come and help save their life investments and their social well-being.
While reinstating the need for citizens to be cautioned about encroachment of setbacks and IOS, the General Manager revealed that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is setting up Lagos as a Smart City for investment opportunities.