No fewer than 16 residential and commercial buildings in Ikeja and environs have been sealed and issued contravention notices by the officials of Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA), for illegal development of structures in the area.
The General Manager of LASPPPA, Tpl. Kehinde Osinaike, who led the enforcement team comprising of the Agency’s officials, Nigeria Police Officers and a Special Operations Team from the Governor’s Office, stated that the affected structures are located on Joel Ogunaike, Isaac John and Ladoke Akintola streets in Ikeja GRA among others.
He said the buildings were sealed and issued contravention notices for putting up illegal developments, which contravenes the Ikeja Model City Plan and the Physical Planning Law in the State.
Osinaike emphasised that the exercise was necessary to ensure compliance by the property owners, noting that GRA is supposed to be a structured residential estate and part of the Ikeja Model City plan.
“We have the Ikeja Model City plan that has laid out the way the environment should be, but some developers and house owners have neglected the plan. Before we prepared the Ikeja Model City Plan, series of stakeholder engagements were held. We had all agreed and concluded that it is important that we preserve the sanctity of this GRA and this is what we are here to do”, the General Manager averred.
Explaining that the buildings have been served all the necessary notices as provided in the regulations, Osinaike said, “We have observed over time that there are many illegal developments within Ikeja and this is not good for the environment and the State at large. Government cannot wait and watch the various contraventions to continue”.
While stressing that the administration of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu would not allow these illegal practices to continue, he noted that the developments are not in tandem with the 21st-Century State which the government is building and urged those affected to respond appropriately or voluntarily comply with the law.
He said, “What we expect people to do is voluntary compliance. But when some few people think that they can take the laws into their hands, we will not allow this to happen. This enforcement exercise will continue as long as people keep violating and tampering with the law of the State”.
“We want to ensure that we vacate everyone that should not be on site, seal the sites and continue to monitor them until the needful is done but if the need arises to demolish, we will not hesitate to do it. They think they can take laws into their hands, but we are not going to allow it. This is a State of law and order, hence the need for the law and orderliness to prevail”, he added.
LASPPPA Ikeja District Officer, Tpl Razak Elegbede, said some of the violations included the illegal conversion of residential buildings to commercial by developers or property owners without getting approval.
“What some of them are building or have built is permissible, but they need to get the permits for them. Also, what some are building or have built is not permissible because it contravenes the physical planning law of the State”, he stated.