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80% of Lekki Buildings Not Government Approved, Lagos Commissioner Discloses

Lagos Urban Development Commissioner Olumide says 80% of Lekki buildings are not government-approved, revealing a lack of adherence to regulations.

Oluyinka Olumide, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development in Lagos, has disclosed that a staggering 80 percent of buildings in the Ibeju Lekki-Epe corridor lack government approval.

This revelation comes amidst growing criticism faced by the Lagos government over the recent demolition of buildings and shanties across the state.

In an interview with journalists, Olumide shed light on the challenges faced in securing government approval for property development, adding that regardless of the rigorous procedures, developers and property owners continue to circumvent due process.

“Just last Thursday and Friday, my team and I were in the Ibeju Lekki and Epe axis and you would agree that anybody passing through that corridor would see a lot of estates marked,” he said. We went there, and I can tell you that from what we saw, over 80 percent of them do not have approval.”

He further outlined the multi-layered process involved in obtaining approval, emphasising the importance of adhering to zoning regulations.

“The procedure to get approval is first to get the planning information, as to what those areas have been zoned for. In this case, what we have is agricultural land, and people now go to their families to buy agricultural land. Of course, those lands would be sold because those families do not know the use such land would be put to.

“The next thing to do is the fence permit. If you missed the earlier information on not knowing the area zoning, at the point of getting the fence permit, you would be able to detect what the area is zoned for. After that, the layout permits a large expanse of land. So, you can see all these layers. But people still go ahead to start advertising. Some have even gone to the extent of displaying the sizes they want to sell. Imagine someone in the diaspora who wants to send money without any knowledge. 

“Then, no approval is eventually gotten. Even if they pass the assignment and the survey to them, we would not grant the individual permit, because that area is not zoned for that purpose.”

The commissioner for environment in Lagos, Tokunbo Wahab had also stated earlier on Sunday, that the demolished structures were erected in contravention of the city’s masterplan, were never approved by the relevant agencies, and had occluded drainage channels.

“We are not simply carrying out demolitions. The law empowers us to remove encumbrances obstructing drainage channels.” Wahab said

Chioma Kalu

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