The Lagos State Government through the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, has issued a 7-day contravention notice to owners of buildings on Orchid Road, Agungi, Ajiran, Conservation Road, Osapa all along the Ikota River, in the Lekki area of the state.
This was made known by the Director of Public Affairs, Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Kunle Adesina, through a post on his official X (formerly Twitter) account.
Adesina said Wahab made the declaration alongside the Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment, Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu, after an inspection tour of the Ikota River corridor.
He added that the inspection tour was to ascertain the level of compliance by property owners whose buildings and fences fall within the approved seven-metre setback on both sides of the channel.
No going back on enforcement
Meanwhile, the commissioner urged the residents to respect the State Drainage Master Plan to avoid property demolition.
He stressed that there was no going back on the decision of the state to enforce the law and reclaim drainage setbacks following the expiration of the notices issued.
He said the Nigerian Conservation Foundation had earlier written a petition complaining about several distortions saying that there had been a lot of distortion on their roads.
Wahab noted that the distortion affected the natural habitat of animals in the foundation as well as on Orchid Road where a lot of damage had been done to the drainage channel designed to take stormwater from the communities into the Lagoon.
According to him, the state government had been humane in its approach to reclaim the drainage right of way hence the review of the setback alignment from the original seven metres to six metres after a meeting with property owners to reduce the number of structures to be affected.
- He said, “We cannot keep lampooning the government for flooding when developers, builders & 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.’’
The commissioner also visited Agungi, Ajiran and Osapa where notices had earlier been served, adding that final decisions would be undertaken having seen the level of encroachment as regards the setbacks of Primary Channel and Secondary Collectors in the areas.
He explained that the commissioner noted that the System 156 Ikota River channel setback was originally 46 metres while property owners and residents on the corridor have reduced the size.
Stop work order issued on Grace Ville Island, Pocket Island sand filling
Wahab also visited Chevron Drive, where he issued a stop work order to Gravitas company, owners of Grace Ville Island & Pocket Island for sand filling part of Ikota River thereby reducing the lagoon size from the original 250 meters designed to accommodate the free flow of water.
- He said, “The lagoon is a natural path, people have started reclamation to cover up the path and narrow it; you cannot narrow the path of water, if you do, water will naturally create another path and this is dangerous for everyone.’’
Adesina said that Wahab had earlier in the day, supervised the demolition of shanties on Thompson Avenue following petitions by residents that strange faces and ladies of easy virtues were always lining up the streets at night which is a security risk for the whole state and Ikoyi environ especially.
- He said, “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 arrests and charge them to court; by tomorrow we will have full possession of the land.