Residents of Orchid Road, Agungi, Ajiran, Conservation Road, Osapa, and Oral Estate II along the Ikota River of Lagos State may be affected by the demolition of illegal structures on the drainage system by the Lagos State Government.
This development comes after the seven-day contravention notice served on the owners of the properties whose structures encroach on the drainage in the areas.
The Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Kunle Adesina, made this known on Tuesday via a telephone interview with The Punch correspondent.
He said the law of the state allows the removal of any building or structure within a seven-metre drainage setback in the area after the contravention notice had elapsed.
Adeshina, however, noted that only the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, could give the approval for demolition or an extension of the deadline when the contravention notice expires next Monday.
He said, “We were there on Sunday afternoon. The commissioner and all the Special Advisers were present. They saw massive infractions and buildings on the drainage. And he told the department to serve them a seven-day contravention notice, after which he would decide whether or not we remove the instructions.”
Speaking on the fate of the affected structures after the expiration of the seven-day ultimatum, Adeshina said the “question cannot be answered by me.”
“If you are served with a contravention notice, the next step is to remove such an infraction. But this depends on the honourable commissioner to give the approval or extend the ultimatum,” he added.
The commissioner had, after an inspection tour on Sunday, written on his X handle, @Tokunbo_Wahab, on Monday that the government should not continue to be blamed for flooding in the state when people failed to abide by the law.
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 wrote, “We cannot keep lampooning the government for flooding when developers, builders, and residents are the main causes 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!
“We urge Lagosians to respect the State Drainage Master Plan to avoid property demolition, as there is no going back on the decision of the state to enforce the law and reclaim drainage setbacks following the expiration of the notices issued.”