The on-going urban renewal and infrastructure development of the Lagos State Government has received a boost as the British Government has expressed readiness to collaborate with the present administration in upgrading Otto blighted Community in Lagos Mainland into a modern model city.
The collaboration will be carried out through the Lagos State Urban Renewal Agency (LASURA) and the British Government’s Future City Nigeria (FCN), a British outfit for Urban Renewal Initiative in Nigeria.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting held in Otto Community, Lagos Mainland Local Government area of the State, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Abiola Kosegbe, stated that the Lagos State Urban Renewal Agency (LASURA), has been carrying out a series of studies in Otto Community, adding that the meeting was aimed at carrying the residents along, as well as getting their feedback on the proposed urban renewal intervention project planned for the area.
The Commissioner stated that the urban renewal and infrastructure development programme will bring about the birth of a new Lagos crucial to achieving the vision of the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda of the State Government.
In his remarks, the British Deputy High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr. Ben. Llewelyn Jones, said Britain planned an intervention support programme with the Lagos State Government to upgrade blighted area in Otto community with a view to solving some of the environmental problems in the area.
Llewelyn, while urging the residents of the area to be wary of climate change effects, disclosed that the British Government is planning a global Climate Change Conference, where nations of the world would be invited to discuss the way forward in mitigating the global Climate Change and its attendant effects.
Also Speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Engr. Olalekan Shodeinde, noted that flooding is one of the harsh effects of climate change, stating that all relevant government MDAs would work together after a holistic and comprehensive appraisal plan by LASURA, which would guide them in solving the environmental challenges in the area.
The Acting Chief Resilience Officer of the State, Dr. Folayinka Dania, disclosed that achieving a model Megacity that is socially inclusive, environmentally sustainable and economically thriving would require effective and efficient implementation of resilient initiatives and programmes by the State Government in ways that provide benefits today and resilience dividends in the future.
While commending the British Government for the urban renewal intervention, she expressed optimism that the project, upon completion, would not only scale up infrastructure development but improve the quality of life of the people.
On her part, the General Manager, LASURA, Ms. Ajibike Shomade, whose Agency is directly in charge of the project, thanked the host community for their hospitality and resilience, promising that Lagos State Government and Future City Nigeria, FCN, would work harder to transform Otto into a city that would be the pride of the State and Nigeria as a whole.
She said the two governments would collaborate with other interested private investors in achieving a redevelopment of other blighted communities, stressing that that the on-going rehabilitation work on the National Theatre by the Federal Government necessitated the need for urgent and immediate re-modelling of Otto and Otumara blighted communities to compliment the National Theatre rehabilitation project.
Responding on behalf of Otto Community, the Aro of Otto Mainland, Chief Jubril Oloto, commended both the Lagos State and British Governments for the success of the meeting, adding that the people of the area would do their best to cooperate with the two governments in the implementation of the intervention programme.