The Lagos state government has asked owners of shanties along the Blue Rail line to leave. This directive came from the commissioner for environment and water resources and signed by ministry’s director of public affairs; Kunle Adeshina.
“Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab in furtherance of the directives of Mr Governor on Sunday supervised the removal of shanties on the setbacks and rights of way of Lagos Blue Rail line corridor from Orile to Iyana Iba urging all those concerned to either move behind the road setback or relocate outright,” Adesina said in a statement on Sunday.
He quoted the commissioner as saying this in Orile during an inspection of some of the infractions in the corridor.
“The Commissioner said the enforcement becomes imperative following the expiration of the one-month notice given by Mr Governor to all street traders, squatters, and occupiers of shanties and abandoned vehicles presently on the stretch of Lagos – Badagry Expressway from Orile up to Iyana-Iba,” the statement added.
Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab in furtherance of the directives of Mr Governor on Sunday supervised the removal of shanties on the setbacks and rights of way of the Lagos Blue Rail line corridor from Orile to Iyana Iba urging all those concerned to either move behind the road setback or relocate outright.
The Commissioner who spoke alongside the chairman of the Special Intervention Team for the restoration of the Blue line Right of Way, ACP Bayo Sulaiman at Orile during an inspection of some of the infractions on the corridor said there is a need to ensure a complete restoration of the right of way.
He added that in addition to the rail right of way which has been infringed, the Lagos- Badagry expressway is an international highway whose setback must be observed.
He said the enforcement becomes imperative following the expiration of the one-month notice given by the governor to all street traders, squatters, and occupiers of shanties and abandoned vehicles presently on the stretch of Lagos-Badagry expressway from Orile up to Iyana-Iba.
Accompanied by permanent secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Gaji Omobolaji, and his counterpart in the Office of Drainage Services, Lekan Shodeinde and general manager of LASPARK, Toun Popoola, the commissioner said he is moving around to ensure that the right-of-way is secured and illegal trading sites and settlements along the corridor are pulled down.
He particularly mentioned the illegal settlement at Agboju where squatters have built up shanties and have occupied government setbacks, saying LASPARK would move in after the squatters have been removed to commence work on the beautification and landscaping of the whole stretch.
He explained that, the right of way for the Lagos Badagry Expressway stands between 90 to 120 meters, therefore any structure that falls between will not be allowed to stand.
He advised some recalcitrant occupiers of sheds and settlements under the bridge before Abule Oshun who are still staying put to move before the enforcement team moves in.
He urged all commercial vehicle operators on that corridor to maintain their designated Parks, saying henceforth any vehicle seen picking up or dropping passengers at undesignated bus stops along the road would be towed away and the owners prosecuted.
He emphasized that governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu intends to restore the greenery and beautify the corridor as well as other parts of the state including Agege, Lagos Island, Ikeja, and other areas where illegal traders have encroached on the right-of-way.
In his words: “The Special Intervention Team, is cleaning up the Lagos Badagry to rid of all environmental nuisances and black spots. The exercise would be sustained to ensure that ejected squatters do not return to rebuild these shanties”.
He restated his warning to street traders in the state that, no area encroached upon would be left out of the clean up urging traders at Afolabi Ege Market, Iyana Iba to relocate within 7 days as they are the causes of the man-made traffic bottlenecks along the axis.
Wahab warned residents against creating illegal dumpsites with particular reference to one noticed at the Eric Moore end of Surulere, saying that the government is determined to find a lasting solution to illegal dumpsites and gave a directive of evacuation of the black spot within 24 hours to the State Waste Management Authority.
General Manager of LASPARK Adetoun Popoola, and other directors from the ministry were also part of the inspection exercise.
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