Lagos State Government has ordered immediate demolition of shanties along its shorelines beginning from next week.
This move is coming in response to the recent kidnappings in the state which have been carried out through the waterways.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode who gave the order during an inspection tour of state projects said government was poised to go all out against kidnappers through tougher legislations.
The Governor also gave the assurance that the recently kidnapped school-children and staff of Lagos State Model College, Epe, would soon be rescued.
“Most of the issues that we have with kidnappings are actually being brought up by those who are illegal settlers by the waterfront, we will commence demolition of all the shanties around the creeks in Lagos State and also around our waterways in the next seven days, we will not allow a few set of people who come into Lagos and stay on our waterfront illegally and then use it as opportunity to kidnap our people, I also want to assure our people that government is seriously on the issue of the children and the teachers that were kidnapped in the Igbonla Model College and very soon, we will get the victims back.
“I believe that the era of kidnapping has come to an end; we are going to review our laws and I can tell you sincerely that we will deal with kidnappers squarely in Lagos from this moment onwards,” the governor said.
Governor Ambode, who also spoke on the ongoing Illubirin Housing Scheme on the island of Lagos, said his administration had taken time to review its mortgage scheme vis-à-vis its financial flow, stressing that the Illubirin axis would be re-designed as live, work and play environment under a private sector initiative.
He added that the state government could not afford to give the residential facilities exclusively on mortgage due to its strategic location.
Governor Ambode noted that government would in few weeks roll-out its ‘rent-to-own’ policy to allow citizens buy into government’s mortgage scheme.
“I want to assure ‘Lagosians’ that in the next few months, we will be seeing a whole lot of housing units being rolled out, we believe strongly that people should be able to pay one month rent and live in our housing schemes, we don’t think in a recession, we should be having a situation where we allow people to come and buy when they don’t have money or to come and pay one year rent, we think the way to move forward is to allow them to just pay one month rent and move into the houses and then more or less play up our rent-to-own scheme,” Governor Ambode said.
The Commissioner for Housing, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, debunked insinuation that the Illubirin Housing Scheme had been abandoned saying that the project has been remodelled to accommodate 500 housing units.
He said government, in collaboration with a private investor who is investing about $500 million into the scheme, has perfected plans to make the scheme a live, play and work environment.
He said about five hectares would be maximised for leisure, while there would also be commercial infrastructure as well as flyover to aid movement into and out of the axis.