Lagos Warns against Alterations of Approved Designs in its Estates

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Bennett Oghifo

Lagos State Government has warned residents of state owned housing estates to desist from modifying the approved designs of structures.

The Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Housing, Mr. Wasiu Akewusola gave this warning during a meeting with the representatives  of the  Residents Association of Abraham Adesanya Estate at the State Secretariat, according to a statement from the ministry.

He said “It is in the best interest of all residents of government owned estates to stop alterations of structures of buildings in government owned estates”.

According to him, “such reconstructions  include restyling,  extension of, and additions to existing facilities and in some extreme cases, increase in levels of buildings.”

He observed that these alterations  are deviations  from the terms and conditions stated  in the deed of sub-lease signed by the two parties  and warned that it could lead to a penalty as stated in the Law.

Akewusola noted that “the government owned  Estates are designed and built  by the State Government in compliance  with global environmental and physical planning rules to ensure durability and liveability.

“Contravention of such standards often result in dire consequences such as reduced durability of the structure both  for the home owner and the other people in the environment,” he said.

Based on this, Akewusola then advised the Residents to desist from any form of redesigning of the building as this may cause damages to the building  and the entire environment in  no distant time.

He also underscored  the need for the residents to maintain the original  structural design to   prevent future disasters. According to the Permanent Secretary, “a building is a permanent load whose  capacity of erection can only be known and  accessed by certified engineers. This capability, which is environmentally determined, had already been quantified before the buildings were erected. Any plans to overload the capacity may result in disaster, he warned.

He also alerted the residents that  all  unapproved remodeling contravene  the Physical and Urban Planning Law  of the State government, hence affected buildings   will be demolished by the appropriate agency of the  state government .

“The demolition exercise of illegal  and unapproved structures in government owned  estates will commence very soon  without any further warning, “Mr. Akewusola disclosed.

He also added that the state Government is aware of some residents who have turned the government housing estates setbacks into marketplace and alerted  that it will no longer be a business as usual as the state will not rest on its oars in ensuring that sanity returns to the government owned Estates.

He informed them that the state monitoring team has scaled up its surveillance activities to ensure compliance with set environmental standards.

In addition, he intimated   that Lagos state is set  to upgrade the drainage systems in the area to  combat incessant flooding  in the estate. Akewusola promised that “government will continue to be responsive to the challenges confronting the people in the Estates and the  State in general.

In response, the residents commended government’s efforts in maintenance of the estates and pledged full support for governmentp actions in penalising offenders. They also requested for a recreation center and other joint  community facilities for the estate.

Present at the meeting were the Chairperson of Elders Forum of Abraham Adesanya Housing Estate, Madam Sulaimon Theresa, Vice Chairman of Abraham Adesanya Housing Estate Community Development Association, Elder Samuel Ogunseitan JP, Chairman of Abraham Adesanya Residents Association, Mr. Oguntoye Oyebanji, Facility manager of Abraham Adesanya Housing Estate, Mr. Yomi Adebesin and the management staff of the state’s Ministry of Housing.