- LASBCA said the demolished structures did not have the necessary approvals and violated the law guiding physical developments within the airport environment.
- The government said that several peace meetings with the owners of the demolished buildings failed to achieve anything as they continued with their activities and did not comply with the stop-work order.
- FAAN said the lands where the buildings were built, were acquired for public use as part of the Muritala International Airport, adding that the structures were built close to the perimeter fence of the airport.
The Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) has explained why it demolished 13 buildings at the Ajao Estate area of the state.
The government said the demolished structures lacked the required approvals and were built on illegal lands.
This was made known by the General Manager of LASBCA, Arc. Gbolahan Owodunni Oki, during a press briefing at Ikeja, where he stressed the need for all buildings in Lagos State to conform with relevant laws guiding physical development and building construction.
Oki averred that the owners of the demolished properties, apart from building on illegal lands, also violated the law guiding physical developments within the Airport environment by erecting structures beyond the required height in the Airport area.
Several peace meetings failed
The LASBCA General Manager said the demolition exercise carried out by the enforcement and compliance team of the agency was aimed at ensuring that buildings in Lagos State are designed, constructed and maintained to high standards of safety to avoid loss of lives and properties.
He also stated that the removal of the 13 illegal structures shows that the State Government prioritises the lives of its residents, stressing that the action of the government and the ongoing demolition of several other illegal structures in different parts of the State will send a strong signal to recalcitrant practitioners in the built sector and the entire residents of the State.
He averred that the agency has been sending letters to the owner of the properties since 2016 to vacate the area but they fail to comply, saying “Several meetings have been held to have a peace talk but yet, they turned deaf ears hoping that there is nothing that the government can do”.
Oki stated that the Lagos State Government will not fold its arms and allow its residents to lose their lives as a result of the failure of an individual to do the needful and obtain necessary permits on their properties.
Demolition not targeted at law-abiding residents
Oki informed property owners within the vicinity of the demolished structures that the action taken by the government was not targeted at law-abiding residents of the area.
He urged developers and property owners to ensure they get the approval of appropriate government agencies before embarking on building projects to prevent the loss of lives and properties.
He explained that the procedures involved in building construction start from obtaining a planning permit from the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) before approaching the Lagos State Building Control Agency with copies of the approved planning permit.
He said the management of FAAN had in the past, appealed to the owner of the illegal buildings on different occasions through radio broadcasts and adverts but all efforts proved abortive. “For more than 2 years now, FAAN and LASBCA have been visiting the place and posting stop-work orders on the illegal structures, but all fell on deaf ears”, he added.
Demolished structures built on government-acquired land
Also speaking, General Manager, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Ngwu Hycienth, said the lands where the buildings were built, were acquired for public use as part of the Muritala International Airport.
He said in 2015 FAAN noticed encroachments on the land and a report was made to the appropriate agency. Hycienth reiterated that the rule of the International Standard guiding airport, states that no building should be built close to the perimeter fence of Airports and sets limits to the height of the building within the environment of the Airport.
The FAAN General Manager, therefore, thanked the Management of LASBCA and the State Government for taking action against irregularities and restoring normalcy to the airport environment which will in return save the lives of the residents.