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Lagos suspends building removal on drainage alignment, cites coronavirus pandemic

By Monsuru Olowoopejo

Following public outcry that trailed the on-going demolition of structures allegedly erected on drainage alignments between Yaya Abatan and Obawole in Ogba axis of Lagos, the State Government has ordered that the pulldown exercise be temporarily suspended immediately.

The exercise suspension came hours after Nigerians including a renowned journalist, Kadaria Ahmed, and women’s rights activist, Laila St. Matthew-Daniel, kicked against the State Government’s actions, citing the state of the country’s economy.

In a swift response, Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, disclosed that the demolition exercise was duly approved in February, 2020 after several contravention notices were issued to owners and occupiers of the affected structures.

He added that the demolition exercise on Wednesday was part of the wholesome clearing and cleaning of drainage channels and alignments by the State Government in readiness for the rainy season which was predicted to last for 270 days with a maximum annual rainfall projected at 1, 750mm.
The commissioner, in a statement issued by the Director of Public Affairsfortheministry, Kunle Adeshina, stressed that present administration, been a welfarist, decided to temporarily suspend the exercise in view of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic in the country
While reiterating that the ravaging coronavirus pandemic required that everyone maintain social distancing, Bello noted that the temporary halt was also applied to ensure strict compliance with the preventive measure outlined by medical officials globally.
The Commissioner added that after the COVID-19 pandemic must have been overcome, the exercise will be revisited by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.

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