The Lagos State Government on Saturday reiterated that it won’t back down until  a holistic solution is found to the issue of flooding  caused by man made problems across the state.
The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab stated this in an interview after an inspection tour to  system 1 drainage channel midstream (Odo Iya Alaro) Arowojobe Estate and Mende Villa Estate, Maryland section.
The tour which is a follow up to the one undertaken last Sunday is aimed at taking a second look at the alignments and putting a human face to on-going enforcement along the system 1 corridor.
He explained that the System 1 drainage channel midstream (Odo Iya Alaro) which cut across Ogudu, Ojota, Ifako, Gbagada, Maryland and Ojota was with a setback of 140metres that has now been reduced to 100 meters to reduce collateral damages.⁹
He added that the original dimension was 140meters for the drainages but the State government is willing to put a human face to the enforcement process by moving 60 metres to Ogudu/Maryland section and 40 metres to Ogudu/Odo Iyaloro section which makes it 100 metres.
He explained that the System 1 was established in 1974 and it is the biggest and widest Primary Channel that defloods the major parts of the mainland and cut across Ogudu, Ojota, Ifako, Gbagada, Maryland adding that the flyover bridge coming from Odo Iyaloro will cut across these areas.
He said some of the structures on the Mende Villa Estate  are in the middle of the channel and have not observed the mandatory 15 meters set back.
He said the property owners are also brandishing classified government documents which is against the law.
According to the Commissioner, Flooding, noise pollution, and the unlawful blockage of drainage channels represent critical challenges that have negative impact on the lives  of our citizens that must be tackled in order  to have an aesthetic environment
The team also visited Nigeria Social Insurance  building situated at the former Federal Secretariat Ikoyi made up of three blocks of twelve floors each where a quit notice was given to the occupiers.
He said the building is a major risk to the state and constitute serious environmental nuisance to the society as there are no good sanitary activities  there
“I will like to reiterate that Lagos is a coastal state and there will always be flash floods for few hours when it rains. We should know that the world has changed and everyone must put in place various measures to mitigate the adverse effects of global warming and other environmental issues confronting human existence.
According to him, Together, we can mitigate these environmental issues and restore the serenity and orderliness of our state, please always leave 15 metres setback when building your property to avoid any future occurrence.
The Commissioner accompanied by the Special Adviser on Environment, Mr. Olakunle Rotimi -Akodu ,Permanent Secretaries , Environmental Services, Gaji Omobolaji Tajudeen; Office of Drainage Services, Engr. Mahamood Adegbite; MD LAWMA, Dr Muyiwa Gbadegesin,  General Manager, LASWMO, Engr. Adefemi Afolabi and some Directors.
The commissioner who also visited the Dolphin under bridge where make shift rooms was discovered few days ago, said the environment Ministry and his social development counterpart will collaborate on how to take care of some of the children of school age who lived under the bridge.
Wahab stressed that the government remains resolute on extending its clean up exercises round the state as it has done  at Apogbon, Obalende, Dolphin, Ijora Under bridges.
 Places visited include, Arowojobe Estate Maryland, Ajose Street Maryland,  Nigeria Social Insurance building, Ikoyi, Dolphin underbridge amongst other places.
Kunle Adeshina
Director (Public Affairs)
May 4, 2024