The Lagos State Building Control Agency (LSBCA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) have demolished no fewer than 13 houses in Ajao estate and Shasha areas of Lagos.
During a press briefing in Ikeja, on Friday, before the demolition exercise, Gbolahan Oki, the general manager of LASBCA, said most of the property owners close to the airport lacked the necessary building permits from relevant agencies.
Oki said the agency had, between 2016 till date, served four different demolition notices to the occupants of the houses in the affected areas.
“We have realised that property owners in the Ajao Estate and Shasha close to the MMA lack necessary building approval which is a basic requirement. They also lack planning permits. Secondly, they are building on a pipeline and this could cause fire incidents,” Oki said.
“We have served four notices to the occupants of these houses for them to come up with what they have. Some of them came with approval but we found out that they were fake approvals. Some came with different documents and after that, we served them the necessary permits to move on.
“All these property owners have been served by FAAN since 2016 and LASBCA gave the residents more than two months to relocate. Unfortunately, some of them even went ahead to cover the demolition marks on the houses with paint. Today, we will embark on the demolition of about 13 houses.”
While speaking on the matter, Hycienth Ngwu, FAAN’s business development general manager, said the land belongs to the authority, but the occupants illegally encroached on it since 2015.
“I want to make it clear that the land belongs to FAAN and the land was acquired for the purpose of building an airport in Lagos, which is the MM2. Sometime in 2015, we noticed encroachments on the Ajao axis and the rule is that no building shall be made near the perimeter fence of the airport, but we see a violation of this there today,” Ngwu said.
Occupants and owners of the affected buildings could not hold back their tears as the bulldozers bring down their edifice within minutes in Sunday.