The Lagos State Government on Sunday stated that the ongoing removal of all contravening structures under the system 1 drainage channel midstream (Odo Iya Alaro) Ojota and Ogudu, will address address major flooding issues on the mainland and its Environs.

State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab made this assertion when he alongside the SA Environment, Tokunbo Wahab led the management on an inspection tour to the enforcement sites to ascertain the level of compliance by property owners and extent of work.

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 which cut across Ogudu, Ojota, Ifako, Gbagada, Maryland adding that the flyover bridge coming from Odo Iyaloro will cut across these areas.

Wahab stressed that the Government had been having discussions with property owners / residents since year 2021 and the conversation ended in November 2023 stating that contravention notices have been served to owners of buildings lying within the 140 metres of System 1 since year 2021.

“We found out that people have gone back to encroach on the right of way and alignments. Since 2021, we have been engaging the homeowners and residents where government has been notifying them of impending enforcement without which we cannot abate flooding” he said.

The Commissioner  explained that property owners whose buildings fall within the approved 140 meters Right of Way of the channel had been given the option of voluntary compliance for almost three years now.

He added that the government also discovered that while contravention notices had been served and dialogue on way forward was being explored, some of the property owners continued with the construction of  new buildings that surfaced in the areas now.

He explained  that the property owners/ residents affected was advised for about three years to voluntarily remove the contravening structures before the state government officials commenced the enforcement but were foot dragging

According to him, The conversation ended officially in November last year when they were asked to come forward with their documents and approvals and we found out that most of them do not have any.

He stressed that it has been observed that all the structures on the System 1 Right of Way have no valid documents from the government as such all the structures will have to be removed

He stressed that the original dimension was 140meters before the alignment but the State government is willing to put a human face to the enforcement process.

Wahab charged Lagosians to respect the State Drainage Master Plan to avoid properties demolition insisting that there was no going back on the decision of the state to enforce the law and reclaim Drainage setbacks following the expiration of the notices issued.

He advised residents to always visit necessary Government agencies when doing their land searches especially Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources to get their Drainage clearance as this will suffice for them in case of any occurrence in future.

The Commissioner accompanied by the Permanent Secretaries , Environmental Services, Gaji Omobolaji Tajudeen; Office of Drainage Services, Engr. Mahamood Adegbite; MD LAWMA, Dr Muyiwa Gbadegesin, GM LASPARK, Mrs Adetoun Popoola, General Manager, LASEPA, Dr. Tunde Ajayi; General Manager, LASWMO, Engr. Adefemi Afolabi and some Directors.

The team also visited Okota, Faseun Bridge System 6E, off Ago Palace Way as the Ministry is set to commence major maintenance dredging to curb flooding and proffer lasting solution to waste that usually got stuck under the bridge.

The Special Adviser on Environment, Mr kunle Rotimi-Akodu; said the government is determined to find a realistic solution to the issue of flash flooding in every parts of the state.

According to him, 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.

Kunle Adeshina
Director (Public Affairs)
April 28, 2024