The Lagos State Government has initiated a dialogue with property owners and residents along Awolowo Road, Ribadu, and Norman Williams drainage channel corridors to address issues related to compliance with environmental regulations. The announcement was made in a statement released by Mr. Adekunle Adeshina, Director of Public Affairs for the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources in Lagos.
The government has issued a deadline, stating that those who have violated state environmental laws and whose property fences encroach within two metres of the channel setback on both sides must rectify the situation by Friday.
Addressing property owners and residents at Alausa, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, the State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, expressed the government’s commitment to reestablishing the drainage setback, which has been set at two metres on both sides. Mr. Wahab was represented by Mr. Kunle Rotimi-Akodu, the Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Environment.
Wahab emphasised that the ministry would dispatch officials to the area on Friday to assess the level of compliance, and contravention notices have already been served on all affected properties. He cited the historic problem of flooding in the area, which has affected the State House at Dodan Barracks due to obstructions in the form of structures blocking access to the drainage channel.
He reminded the property owners and residents that the natural setback for all drainage channels is three meters. However, the state government decided to reduce it to two metres as a compromise to accommodate the interests of property owners and residents while addressing the need for flood control.
In the interest of the majority, the government is determined not to allow violations of the Awolowo, Ribadu, and Norman Williams Roads drainage channels to persist. The ministry has initiated the cleaning of the channel from upstream at Dodan Barracks, but progress has been hampered by encroachments on the setback. The government is providing property owners with an opportunity to rectify the situation themselves before government intervention, which may result in non-salvageable infractions.
The meeting was attended by Mr. Lekan Shodeinde, Permanent Secretary of the Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources, who urged property owners to consider the broader perspective of serving the majority of residents in the affected areas. The drone footage presented during the meeting highlighted that many buildings had extended beyond their originally approved plans.
Also present at the meeting were Mr. Gaji Omobolaji Tajudeen, Permanent Secretary of the Office of Environmental Services, and directors from the Ministry.