The commissioner for the environment and water resources in Lagos State, Tokunbo Wahab, has given a notice to owners of buildings along Orchid Road, Agungi, Ajiran, Conservation Road, Osapa along the Ikota River. This notice is for seven days.
The statement, from the director of public affairs in the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Kunle Adesina, on Monday in Lagos, said Mr. Wahab and the special adviser of environment, Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu, declared this after checking the Ikota River area.
The inspection was to see if property owners followed the approved seven-meter setback on both sides of the channel. Mr. Wahab said Lagosians must follow the state drainage master plan to avoid their properties being destroyed.
He said the state is serious about enforcing the law and reclaiming drainage setbacks after the notices expire. The Nigerian Conservation Foundation had earlier complained about distortions, and Mr. Wahab mentioned the damage to the drainage channel on Orchid Road.
Mr. Wahab said the state has been considerate in reclaiming the drainage right of way, adjusting the setback from seven meters to six meters after meeting with property owners to reduce the number of affected structures.
“We cannot keep lampooning government for flooding when developers, builders and residents are the main cause of flooding.
“We shall continue to enforce because that is why laws are made. Without law and order, there cannot be development, enough of this bad behaviour,” Mr Wahab said.
The commissioner and his team also visited Oral Estate II along system 156 Igbo Efon, where the primary channel was found to have been totally blocked by illegal structures without drainage approvals.
He emphasized that the state needs to enforce these laws to prevent flooding caused by developers, builders, and residents. He issued a stop work order to Gravitas company for reducing the lagoon size at Chevron Drive.
Mr. Wahab and his team also visited Oral Estate II, where the primary channel was blocked by illegal structures. The commissioner visited Agungi, Ajiran, and Osapa, where notices had been served. Final decisions will be made based on the encroachment level in these areas.
He supervised the demolition of shanties on Thompson Avenue and emphasized the state’s determination to get rid of shanties and environmental infractions.
“At 6 a.m. this morning, we came in and what we saw was unimaginable and we had to pull down these illegal structures, evacuate, make some arrest and charged them to court; by tomorrow we will have full possession of the land,” Mr Wahab said.
Mr. Wahab urged squatters to relocate as the state is determined to maintain environmental cleanliness and security. The special adviser on environment highlighted the measures taken by the state to address flooding and called for the participation of citizens and communities for a sustainable environment.