Lagos State Government on Thursday unveiled the Epe Master Plan with a promise to turn the ancient town to another Dubai.
According to the state government which also appealed to the residents to comply with the master plan to enable it to implement the plan, the new plan captures farming and tourist sites, airport as well as other muilti-billion naira projects which could be implemented in the nearest future.
Speaking at the stakeholders’ interactive session which took place at the Reacreation Centre, Epe, the State’s Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Hon. Wasiu Anifowoshe, called for understanding of the residents for speedy implementation of the plan.
The commissioner assured that those whose houses were affected by the ongoing urban renewal projects would be adequately compensated, adding that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode was doing everything possible to ensure that the property owners were compensated.
”Compensation of the owners of affected houses will be done very soon. The computation of the compensation is ongoing. I have said it before, nobody will be left out. Once, your property was affected,” he said.
The commissioner, who appealed to the residents to commend Governor Ambode for the magnitude and quality of projects being executed in the ancient town, said if not for his intervention in the infrastructural development the people would remain neglected for years.
“If the governor doesn’t do this now, before we can have another governor from Epe, all of us in this gathering must have died. Let’s tell ourselves the home truth,” Anifowoshe said.
Also, speaking the General Manager, Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA), Remi Oni-Orisan, said that the purpose of the gathering was to deepen the peoples’ understanding of the reform of the planning system which, he said, would go a long way in making planning play a better role in guiding the sustainable urbanisation of the beautiful area.
According to Oni-Orisan, “A major fallout of the enforcement is that it does not only leads to huge losses, it creates bad blood between the government and the governed and may probably result into suspicion and rebellion on the part of the populace. Demolition of properties could also aggravate psychological and medical breakdown of those concerned which in most cases result in untimely deaths.”
He said as more people chose to live and build in cities, the responsibility of planning and managing the developmental process became more herculean especially in the area where development was often championed by profit driven individuals, families and organisations while the responsibility of providing infrastructure was abandoned to the government.
Meanwhile, Special Adviser to the Governor on Community and Communication, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan, said that the interactive session was meant to carry the residents along in development which improved their living condition.
At the meeting, all the traditional rulers appealed to the state government to ensure that those who deserved the compensation were adequately taken care of in order to cushion the effect of their demolished properties on them.