The Lagos State Ministry of the Environment has demolished several illegal structures in Obalende area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
This is part of its commitment to clean up the streets of Lagos. At the exercise carried out on Tuesday, government officials demolished shanties, shops and businesses situated illegally in the area.
The clean-up exercise tagged IBILE which kicked off last week in Magodo will continue twice a week till the end of the year.
Despite resistance from residents and shop owners at the site-St. Gregory Road and Obalende Road, the government maintained that Obalende is a residential area and should be kept that way and that it would ensure all necessary measures were put in place to keep the illegal shop owners away.
Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare stated that: “Obalende is not a commercial area, it is a residential area and I don’t see why people should turn underneath of Obalende Bridge into shops, building of shanties that harbour miscreants.
“The government of the day has given order that we should clear underneath the bridge, get rid of all the shanties which is the essence of what we did on Friday and today. There are some houses that have turned their frontage into shops, there are designated markets they can go.”
The IBILE Clean-up exercise which will continue to hold simultaneously across all five divisions of the state- Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos Island and Epe is part of Lagos’ demonstration of zero tolerance to environmental nuisance.
According to the commissioner, “enforcement is always the last resort, therefore a lot of advocacy is done before enforcement takes place. There are enlightenment programmes to educate them, we also have them on radio and vehicles that go around. Enforcement is the last resort, we don’t want to do it but it is when we are forced to do it that we go out. So advocacy and enlightenment first, then enforcement the last resort.”