A major crisis between officials of the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment and some construction workers was on Thursday morning, as the officials tried to stop a destruction and defacing of a public utility at the Cele Bus Stop end of the Oshodi-Apapa, Lagos State.
Destruction of the vertical concrete slabs that form the wall of the drainage of the road between the service and express lanes had been on since about Tuesday and the workers have been busy using electric drills to cut through the concrete and expose the iron inner skeleton of the structure.
That stretch of the road was rehabilitated from a very terrible state four years ago as a way to put the all important road that links the country’s major seaports in Apapa and Tin Can Island with the Murtala Mohammed International Airport.
The road that could be described as the most important to the nation’s economy has been a sorry sight and state, but unfortunately, this harm started at the spot that had been rescued from collapse.
The altercation arose when staffers of the ministry arrived the scene with patrol van and a bus carrying the workers an demanded why the workers were on the task. The manner of response from the workers moved the team to insist the work must stop until a clear instruction on who authorized the defacing is known.
Daily Sun stopped to get facts of the incident and was spoken to by the leader of the team of the ministry workers and the Director of Enforcement who had in his hands a letter purporting authority to do that work.
But he was not convinced as the letter merely indicated that the company applied to the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing and got partial approval its entire conditions had not been complied with.
The letter the director showed The Sun indicated partial approval and directed the company to liaise with the Federal Works Officer in Lagos before that is done. Another of the four conditions is that the State relevant authorities must also be informed, carried along and give approval.
Because the Lagos State relevant authority never knew about the work, it moved in to stop it as illegal destruction and defacing of public utility in its domain.
However, the irony of the demolition is that while the management of Emadeb Energy Services Limited,, operators of a filling station around there embarked on the operation, the point of demolition is some 100 meters away from its premises entrance and rather directly in front of a First Bank branch.
The letter indicated that the company applied to the ministry on July 4 and got a response signed by GC Eke, the Lagos Federal Controller of Works.