Dear Gov. Ambode, what Lagos master plan are you restoring?

by Roqeebah Olaoniye

On Sunday, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State issued a statement via the Secretary to the State government, Olatunji Bello, promising to restore the original master plan of select areas of the Lagos metropolis.

How does he intend to do this?

By clearing illegal structures, shanties, street hawkers and those who have converted walkways into trading points and food courts in Ikoyi, Victoria Island and the Lagoon Front of Lekki.

In the statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, the State Government warned that those guilty of owning the identified structures or otherwise earning a living via the disruption of the master plan have 14 days to clear out before the State Special Task Force on the Clean Up of the areas would move in to enforce the laws.

The State Government is very concerned about the conversion of the frontages of properties and abandoned houses to kiosks and trading points by maids and guards as well as the unregulated activities of horticulturists who have turned setbacks to hide outs and selling points.

The statement reiterates the determination of the Ambode-led administration to restore the original master plan of Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki by checking the activities of roadside automobile repairers who have converted many dual carriage lanes to single lanes with indiscriminate parkings.

Henceforth, the State Government would no longer tolerate unauthorized parking of vehicles, trucks, among others on drainage infrastructure, adding that owners of such vehicles and properties with unkempt drainages will be prosecuted.

Bello said it was totally unacceptable for people to stockpile and display wares such as bags of charcoal on major Roads like Ahmadu Bello Way and Federal Secretariat Road, Ikoyi, stating that henceforth such goods would be confiscated and the owners prosecuted.

Considering the fact that we have not yet been intimated with what this grand master plan is, we will be forced to make conjectures about how far Mr Ambode intends to take all this.

First, it was the shifting of BRT bus stations which caused (and in some places still causes) unnecessary traffic; then came the mean and indiscriminate clearing out of street hawkers in some parts of Lagos and now this.

For all we know, all offices in Ikoyi and Victoria Island might soon be brought down seeing as those areas were originally set aside as residential areas. Although we doubt that this will be happening anytime soon so what master plan is this government restoring?

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