Lagos seals off church, others in Surulere, moves against illegal conversion of open spaces
The Lagos State Government recently sealed off 8 buildings, including a church, fuel station, warehouse, and container terminal in Surulere, for violating the existing physical planning laws of the State. The state government had earlier issued a directive against the erection of structures on open spaces all over the state, describing it as illegal.
The disclosure was made by the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako, during a meeting with representatives of Williams Estate Residents Association, Akowonjo, who had earlier registered a complaint of encroachment on open spaces, by some residents within the estate.
The Commissioner stated that by law, open spaces are important for the sustainability of the environment, and the well being of Lagosians, noting that at no time should the entire landscape be used for building structures only.
Salako admonished residents to protect spaces reserved for other meaningful uses; such as greenery, recreation, and air space.
He commended the association for alerting the government on the encroachment, saying that other estates and residences should take a cue from this patriotic act, because the people are the ultimate beneficiaries of an organized, livable and sustainable Lagos.
He said, “Having received and investigated the petition from Williams Estate, the Ministry has commenced the process of removal of the contravening structures, illegally built on an open space reserved for recreation in the estate.’’
Salako warned that the government would leave no stone unturned in a bid to restore the glory of the well-planned state, hallmarked by recreation parks, gardens, beautified open spaces, and other important services necessary for a functional physical environment.
He added that the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development has been strengthened for unbiased enforcement of the physical planning laws.