On Sunday, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources in Lagos State, issued a seven-day notice to building owners situated within the seven meters setback on Orchid Road, Agungi, Ajiran, Conservation Road, Osapa, and alongside the Ikota River.
Wahab announced this decision after conducting a thorough inspection tour that lasted until dusk, accompanied by the Special Adviser on Environment, Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu, to System 156 and 157 Channel along Ikota River in Eti Osa Local Government.
The inspection tour was to ascertain the level of compliance by property owners whose buildings and fences fell within the approved seven metres setback on both sides of the channel and had been given the option of voluntary compliance.
Wahab charged Lagosians to respect the State Drainage Master Plan to avoid properties demolition asserting that there was no going back on the decision of the state to enforce the law and reclaim drainage setbacks following the expiration of the notices issued.
He also informed that the Nigerian Conservation Foundation had earlier written a petition complaining about several distortions, saying that there had been a lot of distortion on their roads.
The distortion affected the natural habitat of animals in the foundation as well as on Orchid road where a lot of damage had been done to the drainage channel designed to take storm water from the communities into the Lagoon.
He said the State had been humane in its approach to reclaiming the drainage right of way, hence the review of the setback alignment from the original seven metres to six metres after a meeting with property owners in order to reduce the number of structures to be affected.
“We cannot keep lampooning government for flooding when developers, builders and residents are the main cause of flooding; we shall continue to enforce because that is why laws are made. Without law and order, there cannot be development, enough of this bad behaviour,” he said.
The Commissioner and his team also visited Oral Estate II along system 156 Igbo Efon where the Primary Channel was found to have been totally blocked by illegal structures without drainage approvals.
He also visited Agungi, Ajiran and Osapa where notices had earlier been served, saying that final decisions would be undertaken having seen the level of encroachment as regards the setbacks of Primary Channel and Secondary Collectors in the areas
Wahab had explained that the System 156 Ikota river channel setback was originally 46 metres while property owners and residents on the corridor have reduced the size.
He added that all those that have contravened and whose properties fell within the original metres of the channel setback on both sides have the next seven days to remove them as enforcement would commence immediately after expiration of the notices.
Wahab also visited Chevron Drive, where he issued a stop work order to Gravitas company, owners of Grace Ville Island and Pocket Island for sand filling part of Ikota River, thereby reducing the lagoon size from the original 250 metres designed to accommodate free flow of water.
“The lagoon is a natural path, people have started reclamation to cover up the path and narrow it; you cannot narrow the path of water, if you do, water will naturally create another path and this is dangerous for everyone,” he said.
Source: PM News