Lagos commences demolition of illegal structures

Eniola Ajayi, Lagos

Removal of structures under high tension lines across Lagos State has commenced after the expiration of ultimatum issued in the statutory notices served upon occupiers.

The removal commenced with the demolition of illegal row of shops situated directly under high tension lines at Isheri in Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area of the State at around 10am.

The demolition was a joint operation supervised by Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Lagos State Building Control Agency, and the State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences Unit.

Serene Environment

The Honourable Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Wasiu Anifowoshe, who expressed Government’s determination to rid the State of illegal developments, said there would be zero tolerance for illegal structures across the state.

“This is just another effort to maintain a sustainable, organised, live-able and friendly environment, the state government is set toensure zero tolerance for all structures and properties built under high tension cables across the State; having  residential buildings or conducting businesses under High Tension Power Lines constitute a danger to lives and properties that could have fatal consequences, the State Government, through its relevant Ministries and Agencies will henceforth, enforce applicable law strictly by removing all development and activities encroaching on the Right of Way of utilities and services”  the Commissioner stressed.

Ongoing Exercise

Anifowoshe however called on those who have structures within the Right of Way of Public Utilities to start removing them face the full consequences of the law as he described the exercise as on-going.

“Illegal developments within the Right of Way of High Tension Lines in other parts of the State will be removed” he noted.

The Acting General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency, Oladotun Lasoju, affirmed that the  Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2010, not only prohibited building under the centre-line of over-head electricity wires, clear terms specified
the  distance to be observed between  a property and a public utility such as the PHCN High Tension Cables.

“Having served the statutory contravention notices on the offending structures and when owners of such structures failed to remove them within the statutory notice period, we are compelled to remove such structures at a cost to be borne by the owners” Lasoju added.

A representative of the State Environmental and  Special Offences Unit, Mr Taofik Aribidesi, expressed readiness of the Unit to enforce all applicable laws strictly by assisting relevant Ministries and Agencies to remove all development and activities encroaching on the
right of way of utilities and services in the State.