CITIZENS COMPASS – Lagos State Government has given reasons for demolishing 13 illegal buildings in Ajao Estate, Oshodi-Isolo area of the State.
The state government also described as unfounded the rumours making the rounds which attributed the demolition exercise to tribal reasons.
The state government through Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) pulled down the13 illegal buildings on Friday, April 28, 2023.
Addressing members of the Press about the demolished structures during a Press Parley held within LASBCA premises at Ikeja on Friday, the General
Manager of LASBCA, Arc. Gbolahan Owodunni Oki said that all buildings in Lagos State must conform with relevant laws guiding physical development and building constructions.
Oki added that 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 in order to avoid loss of lives and properties.
He also stated that the removal of the 13 illegal structures signifies that the state government prioritizes 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 strong signal to recalcitrant practitioners in the property 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. “Several meetings have been held to have a peace talk, 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 harms and allow its residents to lose their lives as a result of failure of an individual to do the needful and obtain necessary permits on their properties.
While urging developers and property owners to ensure they get approval of appropriate government agencies before embarking on bulding projects in order to prevent loss of lives and properties, the General Manager told 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 explained that the procedures involved in embarking on building construction starting from obtaining planning permit from the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) before approaching LASBCA with copies of the approved planning permit.
Also speaking, the General Manager, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Ngwu Hycienth, said the
lands where the buildings were built, were acquired for public use as part of Muritala International Airport.
He said in 2015, FAAN noticed encroachments on the land and a report was made to appropriate agency. Hycienth reiterated that the rule of 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 Airport.
The General Manager, averred that the owners of the properties, apart from building on illegal lands, also violated the law guiding physical developments within Airport environment by erecting structures beyond the required height in Airport area.
He said the management of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had in the past, appealed to the owner of the illegal building on different occasions through radio broadcast and adverts but all efforts proved abortive. “For more than two years now, FAAN and LASBCA have been visiting the place placing orders for them to stop work, all these fell into deaf ears” he added.
The FAAN General Manager, thanked the Management of LASBCA and the State Government for taking drastic action against irregularities and restoring normalcy to the airport environment which will in return save the lives of the residents.
To buttress this, a documentary by the state government monitored by our Correspondent kicked against uncoordinated developmental activities saying these may obstruct physical planing across the state.
” Section 47bof Lagos State Urban and Physical Planning and Development Law of 2019 as amended empowered LASBCA to tackle illegal physical development by identifying and removing illegal structures across the state.”
Meanwhile, a video had surfaced online where demolition of the illegal buildings were taking place just as a female voice was heard crying in the background claiming that she did not salvage her property and vital documents before her storey building was demolished.
She did not mention whether ample notices were served by the state government.
She said Rock View Estate in Ajao Estate was demolished, ”hey, my sister, Goodmorning o.. They have demolished my house.. They just cane and started demolishing, Jesus! I could not bring out my property and document before my upstairs was demolished.
‘ ‘They came with two caterpillars,’ ‘
Speaking with Citizens Compass on Sunday, April 30, 2023, a resident of Ajao Estate, Stella Omarseye told our Correspondent that ample notices were served before the demolition exercise but residents took this with Kidsgrove.
She said consultations were ongoing at press time.
She said the property owners have been served by Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) since 2016 and LASBCA gave them over two months to relocate.