No fewer than 45 residential and commercial buildings on Omorinre Johnson Street and Hunponu Wusu Road, Off Admiralty Way, Lekki, were on Sunday sealed by the officials of Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, for illegal extension of development to canal setbacks along the axis.

The issuance of contravention notices was carried out by a team comprising of the enforcement and demolition gangs of LASBCA and officials of the Nigeria Police Force, which was led by LASBCA General Manager, Arc. Gbolahan Oki.

Speaking during the exercise, the General Manager said the buildings were sealed for contravening the physical planning regulations of the State, noting that the violators have the grace period of three days to remove all illegal construction.

He said, “Most of the building setbacks on the axis have interlocking tiles erected across canals, which is against the physical planning regulations of Lagos State. The owners of these structures are supposed to build according to the building plan approvals given to them. There are adequate setbacks that they should leave but unfortunately, the setbacks have been encroached upon”.

“This is a basic fact and everyone knows that the setbacks are no go area for any form of construction. This is why we are here today. At the expiration of three days ultimatum, if these illegal encroachments are not removed, the State Government will take necessary actions against the owners of these structures”, he added.

Oki explained that the setback areas with interlocking tiles should be a green area, stressing that the enforcement was in furtherance of the government’s efforts at regulating physical planning development in the State.

Emphasising that Greenland setbacks were specifically reserved to help preserve the ecosystem in the State, Arc. Oki noted that it was also part of the ways to achieve the development plans in Lagos and make the environment organised and livable.

He implored owners of the marked buildings to immediately remove the interlocking tiles in the setback areas and replace them with green grass, adding that failure to do so, would attract necessary sanctions according to the laws of the State.

“We deliberately came for this exercise today, being a Sunday, because we believe we would meet most of the occupants of the affected buildings. We do not want a situation whereby the residents of these buildings will say they were not aware of this enforcement drive and use that as an excuse not to adhere to government laws”, the General Manager stated.

He said the enforcement exercise would continue on buildings without planning permits or are not in conformity with construction regulations, maintaining that the exercise was also to intensify efforts to rid Lagos of illegal and unapproved building construction.

Oki, therefore, appealed to Lagosians to follow proper procedure in building construction and obtain planning permits from the State government.