Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has approved the land regularisation exercise of all the landed property owned by the Lagos State University (LASU) being encroached upon by illegal occupants.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh disclosed this today in Lagos at a Stakeholders’ meeting held with leaders of Community Development Associations and other key stakeholders in the community.

Bank-Olemoh urged affected illegal occupants to take advantage of the State Government’s magnanimity to regularise their title deeds with the institution and become legal tenants of the University.

The Special Adviser said that the decision of the State Government to have them regularise their property was informed by the resolve of the State government to follow the path of peace with the community members.

He urged the community members to cooperate with the State government to make the regularisation exercise realizable and the entire process seamless, stressing that the move was not one of such initiatives that would be thwarted along the way.

He informed that the State Government’s intention is not to demolish but regularise majority of the property that have illegally encroached upon the University’s site, noting that the level of encroachment at the Ojo campus of LASU is approximately 75%, thus hindering the development of the Institution.

His words: “The level of encroachment has restricted further expansion and development of new programmes in the University which has impeded the goal of being a first-class University of the founders’ dream. Generally, over 80% of LASU land measuring over 700 HA had been acquired by settlers illegally leaving an estimated 160 HA for LASU development which is grossly inadequate. Moreover, there is a compelling reason to reclaim the encroached land particularly now that LASU is a residential University.”

The Special Adviser noted that from Monday, 18th December 2017, officials of the State Government and LASU will be visiting the affected houses with a view to placing notices on them and implore the occupants to regularise their property.

He said that to become a bonafide LASU tenant, an illegal occupant is expected to log on to and enter their VBI Number and passcode wherein they are expected to upload and update all personal information as well as pay the registration fee of N100,000.

“Fees can be paid online or in the alternative one can print an invoice from the portal with a view to paying directly at the bank. It is important to stress that this registration fee of N100,000 will be deducted from the final registration fees upon the completion of the regularisation process. Again, under no circumstance should the fees be paid in cash to anybody,” the Special Adviser averred.

He noted that the regularisation will be open between now and 30th April, 2018, adding that failure to complete the exercise before the 30th April deadline will attract 25% increase in the fees in the first instance covering between May 1 and June 30, 2018, while a 50% fee increase will be imposed on defaulters covering the final penalty phase of July 1 and September 30, 2018.

He disclosed that any property that is not registered or regularised by September 30, 2018, deadline will be repossessed by the State Government, adding that on completion of the exercise, annual land use charges and rental fees would be payable to the State Government and LASU respectively.

Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of LASU, Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun described the move as a step by Governor Ambode-led administration to pursue lofty initiatives that will further signpost LASU as an institution of international standard and a citadel of learning.

Prof. Fagbohun maintained that if the land regularisation issue is not quickly done, it could hamper the growth and development of the institution to its full capacity and status, adding that the encroachment issue has over the years affected the capacity of the institution to admit the number of admission seekers approved by the National University Commission, NUC.

In the same vein, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde said the move was in line with the promise made by the Governor during the electioneering period that his administration will not inflict unnecessary hardship on the citizenry but will instead follow the path of peace in addressing infractions.