Lagos to Demolish Buildings under Power Installations


Gives owners seven-day ultimatum

Gboyega Akinsanmi

The Lagos State Government wednesday said it would start demolishing all buildings erected under high-tension power installations in the state for allegedly contravening its Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law, 2010.

But the state government directed all owners, occupiers or developers of such buildings to quit within seven days, noting that it had resolved to establish zero tolerance for all structures built under high tension cables across the state.

The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Abiola Anifowoshe, disclosed this in a statement he personally signed, noting that building on the right of way of high-tension electricity cable “are dangerous, illegal and a source of serious concern to the state government.”

In his statement, the commissioner noted that building or conducting business under high tension power installations “constitute a danger that could have fatal consequences if prompt action is not taken.”

He said the state’s Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2010 did not only prohibit building under the centre-line of over-head electricity wires, but also in very clear terms specifies the distance to be observed between a property and a public utility such as the PHCN high tension cables
He said the state government, through its relevant ministries and agencies “will henceforth, enforce applicable law strictly by removing all development and activities encroaching on the right of way of utilities and services.”

He pointed out that the required setback for buildings from the centre-line of over-head wires and horizontal distance between such buildings is not less than six metres for 11KV wire lines; nine metres for 33KV wire lines; 15 metres for 132KV wire lines and a 22.5 metres for 330KV power line.

He explained that the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development “has noted with dismay the flagrant disobedience of building regulations in the state and resolved to ensure removal of all structures that are in contravention of the law.”

The commissioner acknowledged that contravention notices “have already been served on offending structures. Owners of such structures are therefore urged to remove them within the next seven days.

“Failure to adhere to the directive will lead to the removal of such structures or buildings by the state government at a cost to be borne by owners, developers or occupiers of such buildings,” Anifowoshe said.

He thus urged all residents “to ensure that they obtain necessary planning permits before embarking on demolition, renovation or construction and avail themselves of the provisions of the Lagos State Physical Planning and Development Regulations.”