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… Gives Traders One Week To Remove All Illegal Structures

Lagos State Government, on Thursday, restated its commitment to the regeneration of Lagos Island Central Business District, just as it gave a one-week ultimatum to all traders and business owners to remove illegal extensions on buildings within the Business District.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who handed down the directive at an inter-ministerial stakeholders meeting held at the Onikan Youth Centre, said this is necessary as the government intends to commence massive renewal of the Lagos Island CBD, arguably Nigeria’s foremost commercial nerve centre, before year-end.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented at the meeting by the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako said it is unacceptable that despite its centrality and importance to the nation’s economy, Lagos Island remains categorised as a slum area, due largely to the inordinate planning and other challenges arising from the attitudinal disposition of the people.

He said the stakeholders’ summit was organised to help find solutions to the rising cases of fire incidents, environmental degradation, street trading, traffic control and insecurity of the CBD.

In his words “The Lagos State government has an approved regeneration master plan for the entire Lagos Island CBD, and is determined to ensure strict compliance with the plan which is aimed at ensuring the development of a clean, safe and vibrant economy”.

While calling for continued partnership with the organised private sector in order to ensure the provision of facilities to sustain the huge economic size of the markets in the CBD, the Governor insisted that government cannot afford to have the CBD being described as the most unsafe and uncontrolled part of Lagos due to the activities of a few.

He, therefore, charged all residents of the Island CBD and land-owning families, especially property developers, to continue to comply with all physical development laws in order to move away from the culture of illegalities and awkwardness.

In her remarks, the Honourable Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on CBD, Mr. Mojisola Ali Macaulay submitted that the Lagos Island CBD requires serious attention and financial commitment from the public and private sector, saying that “We all must respect the State where we are domiciled, whether for business or otherwise and ensure strict compliance with its laws”.

“Disasters which occur as a result of non-compliance with laid down regulations are becoming too rampant and there is need for all stakeholders to join hands together and make the CBD work”, she added

Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the Governor on CBD, Mr. Olugbenga Oyerinde said the Governor is committed to making the CBD work.

“This government is committed to ensuring that the glory of the Lagos Island CBD is returned and people would see a new CBD in which they would be proud”, he stated.

Oyerinde said the CBD office decided to organise the inter-ministerial stakeholders’ engagement in response to the spate of fire incidents in the area as well as the increase in environmental degradation, street trading, and security challenges.

In his own contribution, Simon Gusah, the Team Lead, Future Cities Nigeria, a UK sponsored organisation partnering with Lagos State Urban Renewal Agency (LASURA), said the agency is working on how Lagosians can deploy technology to reduce stress and live smarter.

“We are asking the questions about whether we could develop the right app that could make people to buy goods from markets on the Island without having to physically come to the Island. If we can achieve this and reduce the five million population trying to trade in the market by half a million we may start witnessing a massive reduction in the stress level of residents”, Gusah asserted.

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