Lagos State government has vowed to intensify efforts to rid the state of illegal structures, just as it said that owners of the buildings demolished in Ikoyi on Thursday, were duly served with contravention, removal and quit notices before the exercise was carried out.
Commissioner, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde, disclosed this in a statement issued on Saturday, saying that the government had noted the flagrant disobedience of building regulations, and had, therefore, resolved to ensure removal of all structures that were in contravention of the law.
This is just as Ayorinde said the state government was desirous of restoring the original master plan of all residential areas in the state. He lamented that “arbitrary location of kiosks, illegal parking lots, unapproved mechanic workshops, roadside restaurants and other unplanned commercial centres, have contributed in no small way to distorting physical planning designs of the state.
“In our effort to maintain a sustainable, organised, liveable and friendly environment, the government will not renege on its declared stance of zero tolerance for structures and properties without development permit or approved building plans.”
The commissioner also warned that all those who chose to erect illegal structures in violation of the state’s laws, in order to take advantage of third parties, would not only have those structures removed, but also be prosecuted.
According to Ayorinde, the affected buildings in Ikoyi were situated in an area originally designated as residential, but the developers, without recourse to the state government, commenced development of industrial and commercial concerns in these locations, thereby distorting the master plan of the area.
He said the structures also caused environmental nuisance, traffic snarls and, more importantly, a security threat to the neighbourhood.
On the allegation that the buildings were not duly served with necessary contravention, stop work and removal notices, the commissioner said that the government would not succumb to blackmail in any form.
“We have evidence of service of all statutory notices. The buildings were also marked with the X red oxide to call the attention of the owners to physical planning contraventions,” he said.
“Having served the Statutory Contravention Notices on the offending structures, and when owners of such structures failed to remove them within the statutory notice period, we were compelled to remove such structures. This government is committed to following due process and will strictly enforce provisions of the law on this subject matter,” he added.