Lagos govt demolishes 13 illegal buildings along airport road

THE Lagos State government has demolished no fewer than 13 buildings in the Ajao Estate and Shasha areas of the state over illegal occupation.

The buildings were deemed to be in close proximity to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABSCA), Gbolahan Oki, had said at a press briefing in Ikeja before the demolition exercise on Friday, April 28 that owners of most of the buildings close to the airport lacked the necessary building permits from the relevant agencies.

According to Oki, the buildings were illegally constructed out of clear disregard for the requirements of extant laws.

He said, “We have realised that property owners in the Ajao Estate and Shasha close to the MMA lack the necessary building approval which is a basic requirement. They also lack planning permits. Secondly, they are building on a pipeline, and this could cause fire incidents.

“We have served four notices to the occupants of these houses several times for them to come up with what they have. Some of them came with approval but we found out that they were fake approvals. Some came with different documents and after that, we served them the necessary permits to move on.”

He added that LASBCA and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had warned the residents of these buildings to relocate from the locations since 2016.






     

     

    “All these property owners have been served by FAAN since 2016 and LASBCA gave the residents more than two months to relocate. Unfortunately, some of them even went ahead to cover the demolition marks on the houses with paint. Today we will embark on the demolition of about 13 houses,” he said.

    Also, the General Manager, Business Development, FAAN, Hycienth Ngwu, maintained that the parcel of land belongs to FAAN and the occupants illegally encroached on it since 2015.

    Ngwu said, “I want to make it clear that that land belongs to FAAN and the land was acquired for the purpose of building an airport in Lagos, which is the MM2. Sometime in 2015, we noticed encroachments on the Ajao axis, and the rule is that no building shall be made near the perimeter fence of the airport, but we see a violation of this there today.”

    He commended the partnership with LASBCA to bring normalcy back to the airport environment.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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