The Lagos State Government has again reiterated its readiness to prosecute trespassers who encroach on government lands or violate building control laws as encapsulated in Urban and Regional Planning laws of 2010 without recourse to best practices.
Speaking during the removal and demolition of illegal construction, encroachment and non-conforming structures on Oluwole Urban Mall Land in Lagos Island, the General Manager of Lagos State Building Control Agency, Arc. Gbolahan Oki said that the State Government will not hesitate in removing structures built on government land and prosecute any person or group found erecting structures on any of the State Government sites henceforth.
Oki maintained that no responsible government will fold its arms and watch some recalcitrant developers derail the State Government’s Master Plan.
He stated that LASBCA, in its continuous exercise of post-construction auditing of all existing buildings and encroachment on Lagos State Government land, has clamped down on illegal conversion of Oluwole Government land by unscrupulous elements who converted the site without recourse to appropriate authority as well as non-application for building plan permits and regularisation from the State Government.
“The Oluwole Urban Mall is of historical importance to Lagos State, the land belongs to the State Government and is being managed by Lagos State Property Development Corporation (LSDPC). The demolition of the illegal construction by the agency in conjunction with the men of Special Governor’s Monitoring Team became necessary in order to ensure that building developments in the State follow the approved layouts of the areas and due process based on international best practices”, Oki said.
The General Manager reiterated that the Lagos State Government, in its quest to put the State on the pedestal of other Smart Cities in the world, is working towards making Lagos a well-planned and structured society where building construction is in line with the State Master Plan and building Permits duly granted by its sister Agency, Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA).
Decrying the encroachment on the land by unauthorised developers and street-urchins, known as area boys, who have turned the entire land space to an illegal parking lot and warehouses not part of the original Master Plan of the area, he averred that the genesis of Lagos Island traffic gridlock is a result of the indiscriminate parking of cars, containers and citing illegal warehouses without an approval from the State government.
Arc. Oki, however, stated that the ongoing removal of illegal and non-conforming building in the area will not only give the area a new lease of life but also revert back to the State Master Plan, warning that recalcitrant developers and illegal occupants who refuse to toe the line of best practices will be prosecuted accordingly.
The General Manager appealed to all Lagosians to comply with the building control laws, reiterating the Agency’s commitment to the new reformed and restructured LASBCA, which is aimed at working with the people for their own safety as well as for a safer and well-planned Smart-City.