Lagos landlords have issued a seven-day ultimatum about buildings along the Ikota River

Tokunbo Wahab, the Lagos State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, issued a seven-day violation notice to owners of buildings inside the seven-metre setback on Orchid Road, Agungi, Ajiran, Conservation Road, Osapa, and all along the Ikota River on Sunday.

Wahab made the declaration alongside Special Adviser Environment, Mr Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu, following an extensive inspection tour that lasted until dusk to System 156 and 157 Channel along Ikota River, according to a statement by Kunle Adeshina, Director (Public Affairs), Ministry of Environment and Water Resources.

The purpose of the inspection tour was to assess the level of compliance among property owners whose buildings and fences fell within the allowed seven-metre setback on both sides of the channel and who had been given the option of voluntary compliance.

See the complete statement below:

LASG ISSUES A 7-DAY ULTIMATUM TO THE OWNERS OF STRUCTURES ON ORCHID RD, AGUNGI & AJIRAN ALONG THE IKOTA RIVER.

Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, Lagos State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, issued a seven-day violation notice to owners of buildings inside the seven-metre setback on Orchid Road, Agungi, Ajiran, Conservation Road, Osapa, and all along the Ikota River on Sunday.

Wahab made the announcement alongside Special Adviser Environment, Mr Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu, following an exhaustive inspection trip of System 156 and 157 Channels along the Ikota River that lasted until sunset.

The purpose of the inspection trip was to assess the level of compliance by property owners whose buildings and fences are within the allowed seven-meter setback on both sides of the channel and who have been given the option of voluntary compliance.

Wahab urged Lagosians to follow the State Drainage Master Plan in order to avoid property demolition, claiming that the state’s decision to enforce the law and reclaim Drainage setbacks beyond the expiration of the notices issued could not be reversed.

Wahab stated that the Nigerian Conservation Foundation had previously sent a petition in which they complained about many distortions on their highways.

The deformation harmed animals’ natural habitats in the foundation as well as on Orchid Road, where extensive damage had been done to the drainage channel designed to carry storm water from the communities into the Lagoon.

He stated that the State had been compassionate in its approach to reclaiming the drainage right of way, as evidenced by the reduction of the setback alignment from seven to six metres following a discussion with property owners in order to decrease the number of structures to be affected.

“We cannot continue to blame the government for flooding when developers, builders, and residents are the primary causes of flooding; we will continue to enforce because that is why laws are made.” He stated, “There can be no development without law and order; this level of bad behavior must cease.”

The Commissioner and his crew also went to Oral Estate II on System 156 Igbo Efon, where the Primary Channel was discovered to be completely obstructed by unlawful structures that did not have drainage approvals.

He also went to Agungi, Ajiran, and Osapa, where notifications had previously been served, and stated that final judgments will be made after assessing the extent of encroachment on Primary Channel and Secondary Collector barriers in the locations.

The Commissioner and his crew also went to Oral Estate II on System 156 Igbo Efon, where the Primary Channel was discovered to be completely obstructed by unlawful structures that did not have drainage approvals.

He also went to Agungi, Ajiran, and Osapa, where notifications had previously been served, and stated that final judgments will be made after assessing the extent of encroachment on Primary Channel and Secondary Collector barriers in the locations.

During the tour, the Commissioner stopped by Chevron Drive and issued a stop work order to Gravitas, the owners of Grace Ville Island and Pocket Island, because the construction company had sand-filled a portion of the Ikota River, reducing the size of the lagoon from the original 250 meters designed to accommodate free flow of water.

“The lagoon is a natural path , people have started reclamation to cover up the path and narrow it; you cannot narrow the path of water, if you do, water will naturally create another path and this is dangerous for everyone, he said”

He urged all illegal squatters to leave immediately, saying that the government is determined to rid the state of shanties and other environmental infractions that dot the landscape regardless of location, and that the current administration will not allow individuals who have no business in the state to become an environmental nuisance and a security risk in the state.

He advised developers, builders, and property owners to get approvals from the Ministry of Physical Planning and the Ministry of the Environment for drainage approvals and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) before beginning construction projects in order to avoid demolition.

The Special Adviser on Environment stated that despite its characteristics as a coastal state with low-lying terrains and a high population density, Lagos has kept afloat due to numerous government efforts.

He explained that the state government has begun a comprehensive year-round cleaning and maintenance dredging of drainage channels/canals, as well as the construction of new drainages where and when necessary, in order to find a long-term solution to flooding throughout the state.

He called for the full participation of citizens in governance as well as full participation by the communities and governmental bodies at all levels to achieve great improvements in the environmental sanitation, maintenance and sustainable environment.

Signed
Kunle Adeshina
Director (Public Affairs)
MOE&WR

November 27, 2023

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