The Special Committee on Clean- Up of Ikoyi, Lekki, and Victoria Island inaugurated by the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode last week has concluded plans to commence the enforcement of the Environmental Sanitation and Town Planning laws in the affected areas after the Sallah holidays.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and Chairman of the Committee, Mr Tunji Bello who disclosed this in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday, said this follows the expiration of the 14 day ultimatum issued to all owners of illegal structures, owners of abandoned buildings now harbouring prostitutes, shanties, street hawkers and those who have converted walkways into trading points and food courts in the affected areas.
The 14 days ultimatum which expires on Sunday, September 11, 2016 was given to the owners of such illegal structures to dismantle them voluntarily. Bello said the Committee decided to first embark on sensitization campaign to give the owners of such illegal structures enough notices to willingly pull down such structures themselves before the government pulls them down and also prosecute owners of such structures.
He informed that every modality has been put in place to ensure that the original master plan of Ikoyi, Lekki, and Victoria Island as envisioned by the founding fathers is maintained. He stated that the committee is poised to discharge the responsibilities vested in it which includes:
“Immediately commencing the implementation of the approved action plan and execution of the clean-up exercise; develop strategies for preventing re-occurrences as well as other recommendations as necessary to sustain environmental renewal of these areas; and embark on a public sensitization exercise for the sustenance of a cleaner community in the axis.”
The SSG added that the administration of Governor Ambode remains committed to doing everything possible to bring environmental sanity back to every part of the State. While re-echoing the views of the Governor when he inaugurated the Special Committee, Mr Tunji Bello quoted him as saying:
“Cases of abandoned properties have become very rampant with miscreants and criminal elements taking over these properties as their base to cause havoc. The neat road sides of the past now parade pockets of kiosks, illegal parking lots, unapproved mechanic workshops, roadside beer parlours and commercial centres.
In addition, originally residential areas now have industrial and commercial concerns located there, distorting the balance of the environment. “These bad environmental practices, thriving in these prime areas, can no longer be tolerated and will be brought to an end immediately.
These areas must regain their lost glory as this administration demands a return of environmental normalcy. Bello emphasized that the quest to have a safe, clean and prosperous Lagos is not negotiable as the present administration is committed to ensuring a cessation of the continuation of the environmental infractions being witnessed in Ikoyi, Lekki, Victoria Island.
He used the opportunity to advice owners of some of the illegal structures who may still be sitting on the fence or nursing the hope that the State Government would have a rethink on the Clean- Up to make use of the window offered to them now or face the full force of the law.