Light Rail: Ogun, Lagos may clash over planned 1,000 houses demolition

Governments in Ogun and Lagos are at odds over Lagos State’s plan to demolish 1,000 homes and businesses in the border community to make space for development of the Rail Mass Transit Project.

Residents of Itoki-Agbado-Ijoko in the Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State were reportedly served with a notice of destruction by the officials of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, our correspondent learned.

Border settlements in Ogun and Lagos states are affected.

Abimbola Akinajo, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of LAMATA, signed and addressed one of the notices obtained by our source, Chief Olajide Akinola of No. 3 Olajide Akinola Street in Agbado.

The notice dated November 8, 2021, was titled “Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red Line Project Development: Removal Notice On Physical Development Within The Right of Way.”

Based on the removal notices, about 1000 houses would be affected.

The Red Line is a 37-mile North-South train project that can handle more than one million passengers per day when it is completed, according to the Lagos government.

It indicated that the construction of Agbado station and associated infrastructure “is in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Nigerian Railway Corporation.

The Lagos government added that its agency, LAMATA is also “in close consultation with the Ogun State Ministry of Transportation about the development.”

The notice stated that “…In order to establish the Right of Way (RoW) for this proposed development, houses and businesses will be affected.

“Therefore, this letter serves as a notice to inform you that your property is likely to be acquired in overriding public interest.”

On the other hand, the Ogun State House of Assembly deemed the removal notice “null and void” on Thursday.

The assembly requested a Memorandum of Understanding between the two states addressing the planned demolition of properties in the Ogun border communities.

The MoU, according to the assembly, would ensure that property owners whose structures may be harmed during the implementation of the proposed project receive the compensation they are entitled to.

Speaker Olakunle Oluomo issued the direction while reacting to the submission of the member from Ifo II State Constituency, Hon Ganiyu Alani Oyedeji.

Oyedeji, under Personal Explanation, informed lawmakers that LAMATA had illegally distributed the demolition notice to inhabitants of Itoki-Agbado-Ijoko without the proper authorization.

On the subject of project implementation and compensation, he emphasized the necessity of agreement between the two states’ governments on the modalities.

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Written by Babatunde Okerayi

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