The Lagos State Government has disclosed that plans have been concluded 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.
Aside from prosecuting violators, the government added that it would not hesitate to remove structures built on government lands and prosecute any person or group found culpable erecting structure on any of the state government’s lands henceforth.
The General Manager of Lagos State Building Control Agency, Gbolahan Oki, said that the move had become imperative following different illegal constructions, encroachment, and nonconforming structures being erected at Oluwole Urban Mall land, in Lagos Island.
Oki stated that no responsible government would fold its arms and watch some recalcitrant developer derail from the state government’s Master Plan.
He stated that the agency, in its continuous exercise of post-construction auditing of all existing buildings and encroachment on government lands across Lagos, has clamped down on illegal conversion of Oluwole government land for use by an unscrupulous element who converted the land for use without recourse to appropriate authority, building plan permits and regularization from the government.
The LASBCA boss stated that Oluwole Urban Mall is of historical importance to Lagos State, the Mall land belongs to the state government and was being managed by Lagos State Properties Development Corporation (LSDPC).
He insisted that demolition of the illegal construction by the agency in conjunction with the men of Special Governor’s Monitoring Team became necessary in other to ensure that building developments in the state followed approved layouts of the areas and due process based on international best practices.
Oki reiterated that the government in its quest to put the state on the pedestal of other smart cities in the world was working towards making Lagos city a well-planned and structured society, where building construction is in line with the state’s master plan and building permits granted by its sister agency, Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA).
The general manager hinted that Oluwole land has been encroached by unauthorized developers and street-urchin known as area boys, who has turned the entire land space to an illegal parking lot and warehouses which are not part of the area’s original master plan.
He further said that the genesis of Lagos Island traffic gridlock was as a result of indiscriminate parking of cars, containers and citing of illegal warehouses on the land without an approval from the state government which most times lock up the entire axis.
Oki, however, stated that the ongoing removal of illegal and non-conforming building in the area would not only give the area a new lease of life but also revert back to the state’s master plan based on best practices.
‘’Any recraciritant developer and illegal occupants who refuse to tow the line of best practices will be prosecuted accordingly”, he said.