25th May, 2012
The Lagos State House of Assembly has called on the executive arm of the State Government to take over ownership of all abandoned properties in the state within the next 30 days if owners of such properties do not act.
Such properties include abandoned houses, personal effects and even vehicles.
The lawmakers asked the State Government to serve letters of intent to confiscate the properties to their owners after which such properties would be taken over for public use.
The lawmakers made this resolution after some of them raised alarm over the rising criminal activities in the state with the lawmakers noting that most of these criminals, miscreants and hoodlums use such abandoned properties as their hide-out.
The Chief Whip of the House, Dr. Rasaq Balogun, who was the prime mover of the motion under Matter of Urgent Public Importance, expressed dismay over the dangerous security threat such properties are causing residents of the state.
The lawmaker listed some properties located at Adetola Street, Coker Aguda in Surulere and another one between Opebi Junction and the Kudirat Abiola Link Road.
Dr. Balogun said the unoccupied properties were causing serious security problems in the mentioned areas, adding “miscreants have been using the building as an avenue to smoke Indian hemp and carry out nefarious activities.”
He said that these miscreants who often harass women, also rape some of them in such properties most of which are buildings abandoned by their owners.
He expressed further that the structure at Opebi which was meant for a branch of a Petrol Station was abandoned about seven years ago due to non-approval of the structure by the state government, adding that since many people who are homeless need accommodation, such properties could be converted for other public interest projects that will benefit the citizenry.
Lawmakers who contributed to the issue were of the opinion that penalties should not only be awarded against abandonment of properties and their offenders but also that neglected vehicles should also be evacuated from the streets of Lagos.
A lawmaker, Bolaji Yusuf Ayinla reminded the House that it took the State Government serious effort to pull down the Bobby Benson edifice at Onipanu area of the state, which had been abandoned for several years.
Leader of the House, Dr. Ajibayo Adeyeye, also urged citizens to report any abandoned property or properties that are unoccupied to the state government through the state Ministry of Information since they now pose a threat to the residents.