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Demolition of illegal structures, over 350 illegal shops begins

•As 7-day ultimatum expires

Lagos State Building Control Agency and Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development in collaboration with State Task Force on Environmental Sanitation (Task Force) on Tuesday commenced demolition of illegal structures and over 350 illegal shops constructed under high tension cables at Oba Wahab Ayinde Balogun Modern Market, Isheri-Olofin area of the state.

The Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development had about two weeks ago issued a 7-day ultimatum to those affected; warning that it would not spare any structure at its expiration and that the cost of carrying out the exercise would be borne by the owners.

This is just as Chairman of Task, Olayinka Egbeyemi, while carrying out supervision of the exercise, warned both residents and traders to vacate and stop trading or living under high tension cables across the state.

Public Affairs Officer of the Task Force, Mr Taofiq Adebayo, in a statement made available to Lagos Metro, said Egbeyemi confirmed that residents and traders of the affected structures and shops/shanties were served adequate statutory notices before the demolition exercise, contrary to claims by affected people.

Egbeyemi also said residents and traders were allowed to remove their goods and properties, saying the exercise was carried out by the government in order to protect lives and properties of people living in the state.

Speaking on the demolition exercise, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Abiola Anifowoshe, expressed government’s determination to rid the state of illegal developments, and maintain a liveable and friendly environment.

According to Anifowoshe, in a statement made available by the ministry’s public affairs officer, Mr Sina Odunuga, “having  residential buildings or conducting business under High Tension Power Lines constitute danger to lives and properties that could have fatal consequences.”

Anifowoshe, however, called on those who had structures within the way of public utilities to start removing them now or face the full consequences of the law. He added that “illegal structures situated under high tension lines in other parts of the state will be removed.”