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Landmark Beach demolition: Anxiety plagues property owners in Lagos State

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Lagos State is notoriously known for people building structures illegally which has led to the government demolishing many buildings ranging from personal houses to shops and other places for businesses. Many places in Lagos have buildings that encroach to the road and places set aside for government projects.

On Friday, 8th of March 2024, many residents of Hopeville Estate, located in the Sangotedo area of Eti-Osa Local Government Area, Lagos were left homeless as task force from the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABSCA) invaded the estate with two bulldozers leaving the estate in ruins. When quizzed about the reason for the demolition, the LABSCA team cited non- approval of building plans as the reason.

The Lekki demotion last year was also a thing of surprise as billions of dollars worth of houses were destroyed for being built on drainage channels.

Currently a $200 million resort centre, Landmark beach is at risk of being demolished as the Lagos state Government issued a notice of demolition stating that it obstructs an intended 700  kilometer route that connects Lagos to Calabar, a port city that connects to Cameroon.   LandMark resort is reported to house over 80 businesses and provides more than 4,000 direct jobs. It also generates over 2 billion naira ($1.5 million) in annual tax revenue and was visited by about a million local and foreign visitors last year according to the CEO.

Paul Onwuanibe said he was given a 7-day ultimatum to vacate the premises which was contained in a letter to the proprietor of Landmark Beach Resort, Paul Onwuanibe, dated March 19, 2024, and signed by the Deputy Director (Development Matters Department) Tpl Shomolu O., on behalf of the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development. Beach Resort, Kids and Bay Arena, Members Area, Lagos Beach Club fall within the Right of Way of the proposed road project by 50 meters. The government had earlier informed the resort owner following publications on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th March, 2024, in two national newspapers, The Nation and The PUNCH .

The CEO said he purchased the land in 2007 before the coastal highway plans were formulated. According to him, foreign and local investors are threatening to pull out their investments, although he expressed that he is already in a dialogue with different levels of government to re-route the road to its original location through the undeveloped median of Water Corporation. There is no concise agreement on the part of the government to re-route the road or go on with the demolition and offer any form of compensation.

This sudden development has sent shock waves through the hearts of Nigerians as many fear what their fate would be should the government decide to initiate a new project around their property.

The first issue many people encounter is having to source for an accomodation impromptu to move your belongings in the house then battling to ensure that they are compensated by the government. This is a major issue as oftentimes, stories have surfaced over the news of people complaining that their properties were destroyed by the government and nothing was given to them as compensation or the compensation is peanuts compared to the building that was destroyed.

With this in view, our reporter interviewed  property owners in Lagos on the issue of building demolition in Lagos state. Mr Olakunle a bar owner said, “if after doing Survey through the surveyor’s office and a land is approved as it does not affect state projects, then later the Government say that they have a project to do that will affect my property, Is it that the office of the Surveyor does not work together with the Government again, or who should I hold responsible?”

Mr Lawal, who is a land owner pointed out that many things are wrong in Lagos that relate to Land and Property acquisition. He mentioned that the incessant payment to “Omo Onile” after purchasing Land is uncalled for. In his statement, be noted that all these processes sometimes discourage people from purchasing properties.

The state of Lagos as it relates to owning properties in Lagos brings to bear so many questions.which have not been answered. The Surveyor and the Land developers are supposed to work together to ensure that approved lands will in no distant future have issues with demolition because a clear plan should be made on areas that are strictly residential and areas that are not.

It is also appalling as to how the land development agency will allow illegally built structures to get to the point of it being an entire estate and houses residents before they realise that no building should be erected there.

If possible, the government should map out a clear design regarding how they allocate areas of residence in Lagos and also put physical banners in areas that are for government projects or dangerous to live. This will help warn potential buyers, thereby controlling the rate of demolition because anyone who strongly faults these directives has no one to blame and no one will intervene when the demolition is carried out.

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Lagos to begin demolition of Oshodi market extensions July 30

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The Lagos State Government is set to begin the demolition of Oshodi Market by July 30.

This was disclosed by the General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency, Gbolahan Oki, on Monday.

He said, “The Lagos State Building Control Agency, in conjunction with the Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Council Authority, has embarked on the sensitisation of property owners, residents, shop owners, and market women and men on the removal of illegal structures, extensions built on road setbacks, shops, buildings, and public school premises around the Oshodi-Isolo LCDA.”

Oki noted that the expiration period before demolition compensation is July 30.

He said, “The expiration period that we are looking at is July 30, and the action we are taking is to remove all the attachments.

“As you can see, some buildings are right on the road, and it is because of these attachments. Some believe that the attachment is part of the building.”

The general manager asserted that change was the simplest thing but very difficult to achieve.

He added, “If we want change, it is going to affect us, and we are going to have that change at all costs.

“All these extensions are on work, which should not be.

“People selling on the road is unnecessary, and that is what we are trying to put in place; it is not a tribal issue. We must all comply with the rules and regulations.”

Oki urged traders without building plan approval to leverage the 90-day amnesty period given by the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Sanwo-Olu.

“The reason we are here is to enforce; the directive of the governor is very clear; there is no attachment.

“Nothing should disrupt the flow of movement, which is very important, and that we stand on.”

The Executive Chairman, Oshodi-Isolo Local Government, Kehinde Oloyede, said in every market, accessibility was essential.

He said, “For market women to maximise whatever they are selling, they need access to the road.

“The state government believes that good access to roads would better help them in the performance of their duty, particularly agencies like the fire service.”

Speaking on the local government partnership with LASBCA, Oloyede asserted that the state government had given the traders grace until after the festive period.

He added, “The local government is partnering with LASBCA to the end that we have been given grace that after the festive sale ends in July, the state will intervene.

“However, before then, the local government would see to it that most of these extensions and attachments were removed.

“Those that fail to comply, then the Lagos State Government will take charge and do what they deem fit.”

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Lagos Govt returns 11,957 children to school under project zero initiative, establishes nine new schools

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By Sodiq Adelakun

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced that his administration’s Project Zero initiative has successfully helped 11,957 out-of-school children return to their studies.

This achievement was revealed on Monday during the Children’s Day celebration parade and rally held at Police College, Ikeja, where the Governor was represented by his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat.

In addition to the success of Project Zero, the Governor highlighted other efforts made to improve children’s access to education. These include the establishment of nine new schools in busy and remote areas, which now cater to 4,588 students, comprising 2,310 girls and 2,278 boys.

“We have also improved many existing schools, completing over 1,500 projects that include building, renovating, and providing new furniture,” he said.

The governor said public schools are now secured with fences, CCTV cameras, and other safety measures, noting that it was working closely with security agencies to keep students safe.

“For our older students, we have hired over 2,000 new teachers in subjects like STEM, History, Yoruba, French, and Geography since May 2023,” he said.

Mr Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the new Digital Situation Room had also been established to monitor school performance and ensure smooth operation.

The governor charged children to continue to dream big, strive for goals and surpass imagination, assuring them that his administration would continue to advocate the mantra, “No Child Is Left Behind”.

He stressed that the state government was fully committed to providing the children with the environment, skills, opportunities and security to achieve their dreams.

The governor explained that the yearly celebration rededicated the government’s responsibilities to the children by preparing them for the challenges of the future in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive world.

He stressed that the 2024 theme, “Advocate for Children: Policies & Actions that Protect and Support Children’s Well-being,” encouraged all to speak up, take action, and always stay safe, happy, and thriving.

Earlier, Jamiu Alli-Balogun, Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, urged students to maintain excellence in both their academic and co-curricular pursuits, emphasising that they represent the future of the state and nation.

Mr. Alli-Balogun praised the Sanwo-Olu administration for its dedication to the education sector and acknowledged the crucial role teachers play in guiding and mentoring the students.

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Abiodun to commission Hospital road in Ogijo

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The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun is set to commission the newly completed Hospital Road in Ogijo.

The event is scheduled for today, May 28, 2024, at 2:00 PM.

In an official invitation, Hon. Babatunde Olaotan, HBO, Special Adviser Government House and General Services, extended the invitation on behalf of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG).

This commissioning marks a significant milestone in the state’s infrastructure development, reflecting the governor’s commitment to improving road networks and enhancing the quality of life for Ogun State residents.

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