Lagos demolished 1,051 houses blocking drains, says Bello

•Tunji Bello

•Tunji Bello, commissioner for environment

Kazeem Ugbodaga

The Lagos State Government has demolished 1,051 buildings erected on the right of ways of drainage alignment across the state and earmarked 225 others for demolition.

Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello disclosed this on Tuesday at a Ministerial news conference at Alausa, Lagos, southwest Nigeria.

Bello said 504 of such structures were demolished in Lagos West Senatorial District, while 105 others would soon be removed from drainage alignment, adding that areas such as Agege, Ajeromi, Alimosho, Amuwo Odofin, Badagry, Ifako Ijaiye, Ikeja, Mushin, Ojo were all affected.

A portion of the canal in Surulere at Bode Thomas Road: Houses on its path are demolished
A portion of the canal in Surulere at Bode Thomas Road: Houses on its path are demolished

In Lagos East Senatorial District, the commissioner disclosed that 360 buildings were demolished while 120 others would soon be removed while areas affected in the district are Ikorodu, Kosofe and Shomolu.

He added that 187 buildings on drainage alignment were demolished in Lagos Central in the last 12 months because government wanted to ensure that such buildings were not allowed to impede the flow of water, thus causing flood.

Also, as part of its monitoring and enforcement activities, Bello said the government , in the last one year served abatement notices to 752 while only 52 of such abatement was complied with. Government was left with no choice than to shut down 144 structures.

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The commissioner added that the Environmental Health Unit of the Ministry has also inspected 6,071 premises and served 2,250 abatement notices, with 1,474 of such complied with while 776 defaulters were prosecuted and generated N5.12 million from fines.

Bello further said the Lagos State Wastewater Management Office, LSWMO, in the last one year identified 1,481 new private facilities, which included 250 high rise buildings, 252 estates, 150 hotels, 50 banks, 334 schools, 265 hospitals and 180 eateries.

He stated that out of 552 high rise buildings, 500 estates, 556 hotels, 152 banks, 636 schools, 567 hospitals, 89 eateries, that were monitored, only 12 high rise buildings, 17 eateries, 29 hotels, 23 banks, eight schools and three hospitals complied with the state’s policy on wastewater management for the year.

“In 2013, the office issued 282 court summons and 117 cases were prosecuted by the environmental court. While 20 facilities and 49 tenements were sealed in 2013, 33 facilities and 126 tenements were sealed up in 2013.

“Also, 12 site inspections were carried out for certification and recertification in conjunction with the laboratory, reduce, reuse, recover, recycle office, 11 policy letters were served to government institutions and 1,057 properties were served with non-compliance letters,” he stated.

Bello warned churches and mosques to stop polluting the state and disturbing the peace of the public with noise, saying that a situation where six churches and four mosques would be in a street was not acceptable as residents of such street would not sleep due to noise pollution.

He warned that if the nuisance was not abated, government would soon begin massive clampdown on churches and mosques in the state over noise pollution, while appealing to them to comply with government’s standard.