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Light Rail: Ogun, Lagos may clash over planned 1,000 houses demolition

Ogun and Lagos State governments are on collision course over planned demolition of 1,000 houses and shops in the border community to give way for the construction of the Rail Mass Transit Project by Lagos State.

Our Correspondent gathered that a notice of demolition was reportedly served by the officials of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority on residents of Itoki-Agbado-Ijoko in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State.

The affected areas fall within border communities between Ogun and Lagos states.

Our Correspondent obtained one of notices signed by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of LAMATA, Mrs Abimbola Akinajo, and addressed to Chief Olajide Akinola of No. 3 Olajide Akinola Street, Agbado.

The notice dated November 8, 2021, was titled “Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red Line Project Development: Removal Notice On Physical Development Within The Right of Way.”

Based on the removal notices, about 1000 houses would be affected.

According to the Lagos Government, the Red Line is 37 kilometres North – South railroad project which has the capacity to move more than one million passengers daily when operational.

It indicated that the construction of Agbado station and associated infrastructure “is in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Nigerian Railway Corporation.

The Lagos government added that its agency, LAMATA is also “in close consultation with the Ogun State Ministry of Transportation about the development.”

The notice stated that “…In order to establish the Right of Way (RoW) for this proposed development, houses and businesses will be affected.

“Therefore, this letter serves as a notice to inform you that your property is likely to be acquired in overriding public interest.”

Meanwhile, the Ogun State House of Assembly on Thursday declared the removal notice as “null and void.”

The assembly called for the formal agreement between the two states through a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the planned removal of structures at the Ogun border communities.

The assembly said the MoU would ensure that the required compensation is paid to property owners, whose structures may be affected in the course of the implementation of the proposed project.

The Speaker of the Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo, gave the directive, while responding to the submission of the lawmaker representing Ifo II State Constituency, Hon Ganiyu Alani Oyedeji.

Speaking at the plenary, Oyedeji, under Personal Explanation, informed lawmakers of an unauthorised distribution of the demolition notice by LAMATA to residents of Itoki-Agbado-Ijoko.

He stressed the need for the governments of the two states to jointly agree on the modalities for the implementation of the proposed projects and how the affected residents would be properly and promptly compensated.

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