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The Lagos State Government has disclosed that its regeneration plan for Obalende is geared towards achieving a megacity status in the State.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Tpl (Dr.) Idris Salako, made this known at a stakeholder-engagement forum on the Obalende Blighted Community regeneration project organised by the Lagos State Urban Renewal Agency (LASURA).
He noted that the State government remains proactive and would continue to step up its monitoring mechanisms in reducing cases of building collapse in Lagos, adding that the current state of Obalende does not fit into the megacity vision for the State.
“To this end, the present administration is going to carry out an overhaul of key areas in the State without displacing the residents. Let me state that this regeneration exercise is not peculiar to Obalende community. Consequently, buildings without approvals will eventually give way in the course of the exercise”, he said.
Similarly, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Lands and Physical Planning, Dr. Jide Babatunde, reiterated the government’s readiness to work with the Obalende Community to achieve meaningful results and protect the interest of residents.
In the same vein, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Urban Development, Mr. Ayuba Adele, explained that the Governor Sanwo-Olu led administration remains committed to delivering on the T.H.E.M.E.S. Development Agenda, which serves as a blueprint for the development of Lagos.
He allayed the fears of residents regarding the safety of their property, saying change comes with a bit of discomfort but in the end, the Obalende regeneration exercise would be for the benefit of everyone in the community.
Earlier, in her welcome remarks, the General Manager, LASURA, Ms. Ajibike Shomade, explained that the government does not intend to chase away any resident of the Obalende community through the regeneration plan, but aims at making Lagos a 21st Century Economy as outlined in the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.
Ms. Shomade maintained that “in order to regenerate Obalende into a modern Community that can be enjoyed by all, it is imperative that we work together to achieve the purpose for a Greater Lagos.”
On his part, the General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Arc. Gbolahan Oki, urged builders in the community to obtain the necessary documents before embarking on building projects, stressing that government is not out to reclaim their land but replan the area as a matter of urgency.
“If adequate planning mechanisms are not put in place, your worst fears may happen. There are houses without approvals in the area, which the Lagos State Government frowns at. We must, therefore, work together, if we are going to reap the benefits of this exercise in Obalende”, he said.
The representative of Eti Osa II Constituency in the Lagos State House of Assembly (LSHA), Mr. Olukorede Yishau, said the stakeholders’ engagement is a lofty idea that would explain government’s plans to the constituents, observing that some interventions are already ongoing in Ikoyi-Obalende.
One of the stakeholders in attendance, Mr. Patrick Forster, a second-generation resident of Obalende, urged the State government to bring residents up to speed on its template for regeneration of Obalende, noting that many homeowners in the area have already embarked on restructuring their homes towards achieving a different Obalende axis.
Also present at the event were members of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Religious leaders, Opinion leaders and Community leaders, among others.