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Task force pulls down 120 shops, others in Lekki

The demolished shops

• Minister to demolish illegal structures on Abuja highway in two weeks
• Lagos govt allays fear over Agboyi-Ketu road expansion

The Lagos State government’s Task Force on Environment has dismantled more than 120 shops and illegal structures in Itedo area of Lekki Phase 1. The task force boss, Olayinka Egbeyemi, a Superintendent of Police, led the exercise.

Spokesman of the agency, Taofiq Adebayo, noted that the 120 ‘illegal’ shops, including other structures were constructed under electric high-tension cables. The occupiers were said to have received a six-month ‘Demolition Notice’.

Egbeyemi disclosed that owners and occupiers of the structures were served a reminder of ‘Demolition Notice’ four weeks ago by the state government.

“Radiation from the high tension cables pose serious danger to human health, no responsible government would put any of her citizens’ lives at risks. Furthermore, the illegal shops were a sorry sight with miscreants freely smoking marijuana there.”

He urged affected owners to take advantage of the newly introduced ‘Rent-To-Own’ housing scheme of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, which has more than 4,355 fully-equipped housing unit spread across the state.

“The housing policy is meant to alleviate the housing problem of both low and middle-income earners, and to equally discourage people from living at any restricted areas.”

Egbeyemi also urged traders and middle income earners to apply and benefit from the N25 billion Lagos State Empowerment Trust Fund (LSETF) scheme, which tend to help residents grow and scale-up their micro small/medium enterprises with N500,000 to N5 million soft loan.

He advised Lagos residents to stop trading at any restricted area, including under high-tension cables, warning that the demolition would be extended to other areas.

One of the residents, Dr. Femi Ololade, commended the government for saving the lives of both traders and residents living under the high-tension cables.
He made reference to a recent incident, where many people died when a high-tension cable fell on a viewing centre in Calabar, Cross River State, during a football match, and urged citizens to co-operate with the government and stop endangering their lives.

In a related development, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Malam Muhammed Bello, has given a 30-man ministerial committee two weeks to begin the demolition and evacuation of all illegal structures and refuse dump along the Abuja-Nyanya-Karu-Karshi dual carriageway.

The minister, who frowned at the criminal activities going on in the area coupled with the long stretch of refuse dump, said government would no longer condone such practices. He made this known at the weekend in Abuja when he inaugurated a ministerial task force headed by Major-Gen. Emmanuel Neinge.

The road, which connects the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with Nassarawa, Plateau, as well as Benue states, is heavily congested with traffic and refuse dumps, which has become an eyesore to visitors coming into the city centre.

Meanwhile, prior to the proposed expansion of Agbonyi-Ketu road, which will ease traffic along Alapere, Ketu axis, the Lagos State government has promised that there will be minimal demolition during the road rehabilitation, while appealing to residents to support the administration’s effort towards bringing development to the area.

The project, which would witness development of Oluwakemi Street and some adjoining streets developed into a four-lane road from Alapere to Agboyi, is billed to carry traffic from Alapere through Agboyi towards Ikorodu.

Speaking at the stakeholder’s forum on the project, which was attended by both the Commissioner for Physical Planning & Urban Development, Wasiu Anifowoshe, and Commissioner for Transportation, Ekundayo Mobereola, Anifowoshe explained that the forum was organized to work around the grey areas concerning the project through community engagement and consultation.

He explained that a new masterplan for Agboyi-Ketu would soon be unveiled along with other development plan for the area. “The resolution of the traffic hiccups on the axis will signpost economic growth and development for the community, which the Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration is committed to in the bid to address all the neglects of the past.”



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