The Lagos State Government has allayed the fears of residents of Mariplex Imperial Estate over the compulsory acquisition of part of the location for the expansion of the railway tracks passing through Ikeja area of Lagos.
Speaking at the State Secretariat in Alausa while receiving reports of the inspection team to the affected Estate, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Housing, Mr. Wasiu Adedamola Akewusola assured the residents that the government is poised to ensure that adequate arrangements are made to protect their interests in the expansion project embarked upon by the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
He said, “We will do our best in safeguarding the rights of the residents as part of our responsibilities to the homeowners under one of the housing schemes of the Lagos State Government”.
Akewusola, however, noted that the railroad expansion project is in the overall interest of all Nigerians in meeting the ever-increasing transportation challenge in the nation, hence the rights of the residents will be pursued utilising the accepted platform for the handling such issues.
He added that “Our efforts will be within the laid down guidelines and rules but on the whole, we will put forward a good case to ascertain that the loss of the people is duly minimised.”
“To this end, we are conducting our own evaluation of the affected infrastructure including an environmental impact analysis to give us credible data in giving a true assessment of the situation on affected buildings, structures and plants in the 1000 square meters to be acquired for the project”, he revealed.
Akewusola pointed out that the Lagos State government is aware of the implications of the expansion of railroad project, saying the result of the physical evaluation and environmental impact assessment will inform the next step of action in ensuring the sanctity of the built environment and protecting the interests of the people.
He reiterated the commitment of the State government to stem the negative consequences suffered by affected residents and alleviate their discomfort in the best possible way.
According to him, “The wellbeing of the people who placed their trust in us for a habitable and conducive shelter is of utmost concern to us. We will ensure that we do our best to justify this huge confidence reposed in us”.
Earlier, the representatives of the Mariplex Imperial Estate had disclosed that certain critical infrastructure such as the estate swimming pool, the exterior fence, electricity poles and some parts of the road network will be affected by the expansion project.
The Chairman of the Residents Association, Mr. Olusegun Adeyanju lamented that the residents will undergo a lot of inconveniences and deprivation since the total ambience of the estate will be greatly compromised as a result of the expansion, citing noise pollution and security issues as some of the major negative consequences that will emanate from the project.