The Lagos State Government said it supports the demolition of illegal structures around Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines in the villages at the Atlas Cove area.
They said that the military-led operation would rid the area of illegal bunkerers siphoning refined products from the NNPC pipelines in the area.
The Director of Technical Services at the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development in Lagos Muritala Adekunle-Balogun said that the state government would not fold its arms while the country’s fortunes are being looted by suspected saboteurs, noting that most of the structures in the areas the team visited were illegal as they do not have any approval from the government to erect such structures. He said that those that had permits were not demolished.
His words: “Lagos State has not licensed anybody to occupy this place so, most structures found here are illegal structures, their owners never got any permit or approval from the Lagos State Government.
“The relaxation centres were not affected by this Operation because they have our permit, but those that did not have a permit are the ones carrying out illegal activities and they are the targets of the government.
“Those are the ones sabotaging the economy, « he said adding that the Lagos State Government has a master-plan that covers all parts of the state.
Balogun said that with the recent update, the state would put strong machinery in motion to ensure that there was compliance with the physical planning law by citizens of the state.
Earlier, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command and the Commander of OPERATION AWATSE, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, lamented the activities of vandals who have before the OPERATION KUROMBE was launched, have continued to pilfer from the country’s commonwealth.
During an on the spot visit to the Ilashe, Kamoru, Akraba and Okun Glass communities over 300 wells dug by the vandals were discovered and each of the wells was dug and linked to the NNPC pipeline transport fuel from Atlas Cove to Mosimi depot of the corporation in Ogun state.
Admiral Daji said that the operation would be sustained under OPERATION KUROMBE, adding that, “Why OPERATION KUROMBE is different from the ongoing operation is that after the phase where we are now, we are entering the stabilisation phase and that is to ensure sustenance of our presence.
“There is going to be our adequate presence, both at the water-fronts and also on the Islands. So, that we will make it difficult for the criminal elements to gain a foothold on the Islands. Never again will we allow them to perpetuate the kind of economic sabotage that they are perpetrating against the country.”