Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos has warned that the state government would no longer tolerate undue flouting of the State’s physical planning and urban development laws.
Sanwo-Olu gave the warning while inaugurating the physical planning and building control appeals committee to interface with members of the public and government in the implementation of the state’s urban planning laws and regulations.
The 13-member committee is to mediate and balance the interests of the citizens and government in disputes that may arise from actions taken in line with the state’s urban development laws.
The constitution of the committee, according to Governor Sanwo-Olu, is part of the framework of the Lagos Urban and Regional Planning and Development Laws of 2010, which provides for a public engagement channel for stakeholders and the citizens to channel their complaints to the government.
Sanwo-Olu charged members of the committee to work for the interest of the people, saying the success of the team would be dependent on their objectivity.
He said: “This committee is such an important body to the finality to the laws setting up the physical planning regulations that we have in Lagos. It is the first time we are inaugurating this committee, which is an independent body that is not only meant to advise the ministry, but also to advise the governor because its members are to give the citizens an independent view about things we are doing.
“This is not only democratising our engagements with members of the public, it is also about doing the right thing and doing it all of the time,” the governor said. He said the members were “selected based on their pedigree as professionals in the field”. He urged them to discharge their task with a sense of responsibility, because, according to him, the citizens of the state would be relying on their objectivity.
Reiterating the government’s readiness for dialogue to resolve disputes arising from urban regulations, Sanwo-Olu said his administration would not condone what he described as “unguided, reckless physical development.”
“We are out to let Lagosians see the benefit of our intervention, but it is also about time we made correction and say that government would not condone reckless and unguided development in our state.
“It is clear to everyone that we need to have a sustainable means of growth. Every development we embark on as residents of this State must be done within the purview of our physical planning laws.”
Commissioner for physical planning and urban development, Idris Salako, noted that the quest for a socially and economically sustainable Lagos could not be achieved without the institution of a platform to settle disputes in the interest of all parties.
“The committee is a non-bias scheme where grievances emanating from or bordering on physical planning and development control could be presented and resolved amicably. This would be done with due recourse to the Law to determine rights and responsibilities of members of the public, whether applicants, owners or developers, as well as culpability or otherwise, in every reported situation,” said Salako.
The commissioner urged members of the committee not to betray the trust reposed in them.
The committee chairman, Ayodele Adeniran, described the constitution of the body as a turning point in the implementation of the state’s urban planning laws. He assured the governor of uprightness in the discharge of their duties.