By Moshod Adebayo
Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday lamented gross abuse of urban planning and environment laws in some parts of the state, particularly in the highbrow areas of Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Lekki axes.
The governor spoke at the Government House, Alausa, Ikeja, while inaugurating a 15-man special committee to clean up Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Lekki, adding that a safe, clean and prosperous Lagos is non-negotiable.
He said the composition of the committee was necessary “because of our administration’s quest to rescue our fragile environment from avoidable impediments through a major cleanup exercise of the Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Lekki areas.
“Cases of abandoned property have become very rampant with miscreants and criminal elements using them as their base to cause havoc. The neat road sides of the past now parade pockets of kiosks, illegal parking lots, unapproved mechanic workshops, roadside beer parlours and commercial centres,” he said.
Ambode also said the original residential areas in Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Lekki now have industrial and commercial concerns located there, thereby distorting the environment.
“These bad environmental practices, thriving in these prime areas, can no longer be tolerated and will be brought to an end immediately. These areas must regain their lost glory, as this administration demands a return of environmental normalcy.
“A safe, clean and prosperous Lagos is non-negotiable; that is the commitment of our administration. We will not allow these environmental infractions to continue. We cannot allow our beautiful environment to be destroyed by people who have no regard for beauty, serenity, law and order.”
He urged the committee members, led by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello to restore the affected areas to its desired form.
Bello, in his acceptance speech, thanked the governor for reposing confidence in the committee members, promising to live up to the expectation of the government.