…yields to plea, gives the property owners option of devising alternate solutions to re-establish setbacks, prevent demolitions
The Lagos state Government Thursday continued its exploration of dialogue with property owners on drainage setbacks by meeting those on the corridor of Lekki County, Ikota GRA, Megamunds Estate, Ajiran, Agungi, Orchid, Oral II and environs, yielding to their plea to be given time to come up with workable options that will reestablish the setbacks without demolitions.
Speaking with the property owners and residents at Alausa, State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tokunbo Wahab, who was flanked by Special Adviser Environment, Kunle Rotimi-Akodu said the State is committed to re -establishing the drainage setbacks which has now been totally blocked by some residents or converted to access roads.
“The State government would be humane in its approach to reclaim the drainage right of and we will give property owners and residents opportunity to profer a solution to the reclaiming of the setback till a particular date in order to reduce the number of structures that would be affected”Wahab stated.
He explained to the representatives from Megamunds Estate that the System 44A that cut through Ikota GRA and Megamunds is a 19.5 meters (Width) channel but has been blocked by Ikota GRA and Lekki County property owners and residents.
He said the government is determined to find a realistic solution to the flooding in the areas and as a result of this , the 31metres drainage alignment would be reestablished and 6metres setback on both sides would be recovered.
He said all property owners whose fences fell within the drainage setback will be served mandatory contravention notices as the law demands while enforcement will be the last option.
“As regards this alignment; we will serve notices as required by Law and reestablish the one for System 44; No one would tell the State Government that the canal did not exist before constructions commenced” He said.
“I would like to let you know that a layout can be approved based on what Developers make available but if the layout does not reflect the natural alignment, then I can’t blame Physical planning but the developers that failed to get their drainage clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources” He added.
He told the stakeholders from Ajiran and Agungi drainage channel that the government is committed to re -establishing the drainage setback which has now been converted to an access road into residents home.
He said this conversion had made it difficult to access the canal for purposes of cleaning because it had been converted to private use.
He emphasized that the government and stakeholders along Ajiran/ Agungi channel would have to initial an aggrement on how the property would take ownership of the drainage channel and see to the maintenance of the channel permanently.
He informed them that the officials of Ministry would serve letters to affected buildings next week to let them know when the aggrement would be signed.
Earlier, he had another meeting with property owners on Orchid and Oral II estate on the corridor of System 156 and 157 Channel along Ikota River where the commissioner affirmed that both channels have been totally blocked by illegal structures without drainage approvals.
He said property owners whose buildings and fences fall within the approved seven meters setback on both sides of the channel had earlier been served 7 days contravention notices which had expired.
During the meeting, affected property owners pleaded with the Commissioner to temper justice with mercy and grant the residents the opportunity to come up with possible solutions to salvage the situation.
The Commissioner thereafter urged developers and builders to always seek drainage approvals before commencing any building project.
Director Public Affairs
December 14th 2023