The Lagos State Enforcement Team, on Monday, took it’s demolition exercise to the Banana Island area of the state, pulling down structures for flouting building laws and regulations.
Dr Idris Salako, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, who monitored the demolition exercise, said the enforcement became necessary because the State Government felt there was a need to do something to halt the growing illegality.
Salako expressed displeasure that many residents were building without due recourse to state agencies for approval.
The commissioner said the structures which were pulled down had been given ‘stop work’ notices, however, the contractors ignored and continued working.
”At 102 Close, K Zone, a section of the lagoon has been reclaimed with just the provision of narrow drainage for water to flow. As a result, the concrete and perimeter fence erected facing the lagoon was pulled down while the building was sealed and the gate locked.
“Also at 306 Close, three two-storey buildings under construction were pulled down for lack of approval to build as the development encroached on the state shoreline.
“Apart from buildings and fences that were pulled down during the enforcement exercise, two people caught doing illegal dredging activities within the area visited were also arrested.” a statement from the Ministry read.
Salako said the Lagos State Government agencies will continue monitoring exercises to ensure that building laws and regulations are complied with.
“The governor was here yesterday (Sunday) with the strong instruction that land reclaimed beyond what was approved should be demolished. We would continue to monitor to ensure that building laws and regulations are complied with and it should even be voluntary compliance.
“The gradual take over of the waterways is a problem. In our master plan, the regional highway ought to pass through a route but there is gradual encroachment on the way.
“In terms of climate change, gradual reduction in the capacity of the lagoon to flow freely and the consequence the state would be made to grapple with in the future. If there is heavy downpour today, residents in Parkview Estate, on the other side of the lagoon would be in crisis because their community would be flooded. This is because people built beyond what was approved,” he said
Speaking on the demolition of the two-storey buildings, Salako said the enforcement exercise was carried out because the developer had been served stop-work notice three times but they refused to obey the directives.
“The buildings that were pulled down is a peculiar case because the owner and developer could not provide approval and clearance to reclaimed land he got from the State Land Bureau and Ministry of Waterfront.
“They blew up their survey. This means more land metres were taken than what was given approval for. And the 30 metres set back the developer was to observe was not adhered to. Also, the property is under a high tension wire. In all, the development has disobeyed all building laws in the state.”