Lagos begins dislodgment of illegal squatters from Ikoyi, V/Island
The committee set up by the Lagos State government to drive the clean-up exercise in Ikoyi and Victoria Island, will commence enforcement of all environmental and traffic laws in the areas, from Friday, January 10, 2020.
The exercise would see to the removal of all illegal structures and dislodgment of squatters and miscreants in Ikoyi and Victoria Island.
Commissioner for the environment and water resource, Tunji Bello, who doubles as chairman of the committee, confirmed on Wednesday, that the state government was embarking on the exercise in collaboration with Victoria Island and Ikoyi Residents Association (VIIRA), as well as various other enforcement agencies. Bello said that the committee had in November 2019 conducted a reconnaissance operation in Victoria Island and Ikoyi to identify specific areas of infraction.
According to him, the enforcement exercise would also involve clearing of refuse, identification and removal of all illegal structures on setbacks, walkways, drainage alignments as well as the eviction of roadside mechanics who have converted open spaces to automobile workshops.
Activities of night club owners and karaoke operators without adequate parking lots would also be curtailed to prevent traffic build-up along major roads, especially on Victoria Island.
Similarly, leisure houses, night clubs and karaoke stations who engage in noise pollution would be served abatement notices in accordance with the law, said Bello.
He warned that the full force of the law would be brought to bear on religious institutions which disturb the peace of residents with noise from blaring speakers in their establishments.
The commissioner affirmed that the committee would also enforce the provisions of the state traffic law during the enforcement by apprehending and prosecuting commercial motorcycle riders who ply restricted routes and drive against traffic, just as commercial buses that violate traffic regulations would be arrested.
He frowned at the influx of suspicious characters into Victoria Island and Ikoyi, warning that these individuals, who engage in commercial tricycle operations and park indiscriminately on walkways, have a grace period between now and the commencement of enforcement to vacate the areas or be prosecuted.
“The task force will also dislodge illegal occupants of abandoned buildings, several of which have been identified as hideouts for criminals and prostitutes. Destitutes who roam the streets at daytime and perpetrate crimes at dusk will be apprehended,” Bello said.
He affirmed that strategies have been put in place to sustain the activities of the committee. The committee comprises Lagos Neighbourhood Watch, Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) and Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Task Force .