The Lagos State Planning and Environmental Monitoring Agency (LASPEMA) has embarked on an enforcement exercise to eradicate the indiscriminate use of setbacks and incidental open spaces by operators in the informal sector across all local governments and local council development areas. The General Manager of the Agency, Tpl Daisi Oso, said the encroachment on the setbacks poses a serious challenge to economic performance and future development in Lagos, stressing that there is an urgent need to restore the aesthetic value and safety of road setbacks, railway lines, electric transmission lines, wetlands and gorges among others. Tpl Oso noted with dismay the activities of the informal business operators on Lagos setbacks and incidental open spaces, describing it as an eyesore and undesirable.

He averred that the Agency has started mapping, assessing and designing better ways to accommodate the informal sector and also provide the needed environment for their businesses to thrive while normalcy is restored. While noting that the beauty of Abule Egba/Jubilee Bridge and Oba Ogunji/Pen Cinema axis has been defaced, Oso stressed that commuters have not been able to maximise the usage of the bridge because of the informal operators clustering the axis and impeding vehicular/pedestrian movement, disclosing that the government has mandated LASPEMA to sanitise and regulate activities on all setbacks and incidental open spaces. “We have commenced enforcement exercise at Abule Egba axis and environs. That is from Charity to Jibowu Street as well as towards the end of Jubilee Bridge. The ongoing exercise is to ensure that proper arrangement is put in place to accommodate the informal business operators.

The exercise is aimed at reducing environmental problems like carbon emission, pedestrians and vehicular traffic congestions in the area”, Tpl. Oso explained. He also called on all informal business operators to regularise their operations in order to obtain a licence that will avail them the opportunity of using setbacks and open spaces for their businesses.

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