Lagos govt. demolishes illegal Banana Island structure, warns against unapproved dredging

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By Grace Alegba

 

 The Lagos State government on Saturday demolished an illegal structure on Banana Island, constructed on an unauthorised reclaimed land that will obstruct drainage paths.

The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Oluyinka Olumide, who led the exercise also ordered the demolition of illegal fences.

Olumide was accompanied by the General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Mr Gbolahan Oki, who decried the rate at which property owners and developers disregarded building code, hence, the demolition to compel compliance.

LASBCA is an agency supervised by the ministry Physical Planning and Urban Development.

The commissioner warned against illegal reclamation of land in the state, saying individuals did not have the right to reclaim without requisite permission from the ministry charged with that responsibility.

He said land reclamation was an exclusive right of government, which usually carried out required tests through sand filling, adding that, residents should follow the processes for land acquisition to avoid prosecution.

Olumide said the demolished structure violated a suspension order issued by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu during his assessment visit to the site earlier in the year.

He said it was discovered then that the developer illegally dredged the river to reclaim the land without recourse to any approving authority.

The commissioner warned that indiscriminate dredging activity in the area must stop because it violated Planning Laws and impacts negatively on the state’s ecosystem.

“We need to stop people’s believe that they are above the law, once you have law, every body is supposed to be controlled by the law which is supposed to guide the society.

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“Here, lawless activities are taking place whereby people are on thier own deliberately reclaiming land for the purpose of their own developments which is very bad.

“The power line was even made at the centre of the lagoon, the ceiling is almost reaching the power line which is not safe for human habitation,” he said.

The General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Mr Gbolahan Oki, said the construction site had been sealed three times but the developers broke government seal to continue working.

Oki said the developers did not have building plan approvals and did not have layout approvals.

He advised residents to always carry out the necessary checks and documentations by visiting the district offices across local governments to get the right information.

He advised residents to get Certificate of Occupancy and building plan approval or regularisation before moving to site.

“My duty is to remove anything illegal,” he said.

Oki said breaking the seals contravened the building code, adding that, illegal land reclamation activities would be punished.

He said all buildings involved in unapproved shoreline extensions along the Lagos Waterfront would be demolished and their developers prosecuted.

He urged all intending building owners to always ensure due diligence before construction, including obtaining the necessary documentations from relevant agencies of the government. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Salif Atojoko

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