Lagos State Govt Issues 7-Day Ultimatum To Owners Of Structures At Agungi & Ajiran Over Drainage Setbacks
Wahab, alongside the Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment, Mr. Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu, directed the issuance of the contravention notices after an extensive inspection tour of System 156 and 157 Channel along the Ikota River.
He said the inspection tour was to ascertain the level of compliance by property owners whose buildings and fences fall within the approved seven metres setback on both sides of the channel and had been given the option of voluntary compliance.
The Commissioner charged Lagosians to respect the State Drainage Master Plan to avoid property demolition asserting that there is no going back on the decision of the state to enforce the law and reclaim drainage setbacks following the expiration of the notices issued.
Wahab informed that the Nigerian Conservation Foundation had earlier written a petition complaining about several distortions in the area.
The distortions, therefore, affected the natural habitat of animals in the foundation as well as on Orchid Road where a lot of damage had been done to the drainage channel designed to take stormwater from the communities into the Lagoon.
He said the State had been humane in its approach to reclaim the drainage right of way hence the review of the setback alignment from the original seven metres to six metres after a meeting with property owners to reduce the number of structures to be affected.
The Commissioner and his team also visited Oral Estate II along system 156 Igbo Efon where the Primary Channel was found to have been totally blocked by illegal structures without drainage aprovals.
He also visited Agungi, Ajiran and Osapa where notices had earlier been served, saying that final decisions will be undertaken having seen the level of encroachment as regards the setbacks of Primary Channel and Secondary Collectors in the areas.
He explained that the System 156 Ikota River channel was originally 46 metres while property owners and residents on the corridor have reduced the size, adding that all those that have contravened and whose properties fell within the original metres of the channel setback on both sides have the next seven days to remove them as enforcement would commence immediately after the expiration of the notices.
In the course of the tour, the Commissioner visited Chevron Drive, where he issued a stop-work order to Gravitas Company, owners of Grace Ville Island and Pocket Island owing to the fact that the construction company had sand-filled part of Ikota River thereby reducing the size of the lagoon from the original 250 metres designed to accommodate free flow of water.
Earlier in the day, the Commissioner supervised the demolition of shanties on Thompson Avenue following petitions by residents that strange faces and ladies of easy virtues were always lining up the streets at night which is a security risk to Ikoyi and its environs.
He urged all illegal squatters to relocate outrightly as the government is determined to rid the State of shanties or any environmental infractions that dot the landscape irrespective of the location adding that the present administration will not allow individuals who have no business in the state to become an environmental nuisance and security risk in the state.
Wahab urged developers, builders and property owners to effectively pursue approvals for their building from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Ministry of the Environment for Drainage approvals and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) before embarking on building projects to avoid demolition.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment, Mr. Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu remarked that Lagos, despite its peculiarities as a coastal state with low-lying terrains and a high population density among others, has remained afloat because of various measures put in place by the government.
He explained that the State Government had embarked on a comprehensive all-year-round cleaning and maintenance dredging of drainage channels/canals and construction of new drainages where and when necessary to find a lasting solution to flooding across the state.
He, therefore, called for the full participation of citizens in governance through their communities at all levels to achieve great improvements in the environmental sanitation, maintenance and sustainable environment.