By Lanre Adesanya
A Lagos lawmaker has enjoined, residents living in shanties to seek alternative accommodation, declaring that the continued existence of shanties contradicts the mega status of the state.
The Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development, Hon.Setonji David made this call while reacting to the state government’s plan to demolish all shanties in the state.
In his view, shanties are against the megacity plan of the state government.No responsible government would allow a few people to abuse its environment with shanties. We don’t want disaster in Lagos State also.
“A lot of people live in shanties in the state. Shanties degrade our environment, they affect our environment generally.Shanties are in lowland areas along water bodies and when there is down pour they block canals.
“Our plan in Lagos State is that we should have a conducive environment in the state. These are illegal structures, a responsible government cannot allow illegal structures to continue to spring up.”
David, who is representing Badagry Constituency II at the Assembly said that state government wanted residents to live in a healthy and conducive environment.
“We are advising the people to build their houses in a proper way.Go to the lands bureau to verify the authenticity of the land, go to the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development to get the necessary permission and see if it is free.
“Follow the law, the government cannot close its eyes to illegality. If the government does otherwise you would blame the government.Safety of lives of the people is important to the government, which is why we were elected. So, shanties cannot be allowed to remain in the state any longer,” he said.
According to him, residents in the shanties would continue to have health challenges with can cut short their life span.
“The less number of people that visit the hospital the better for the state. So, health is also important,” he added.
The Lagos State Government has been demolishing shanties across the state and has on Tuesday said it would soon remove all shanties at Oko Oba abattoir to ensure a healthy and hygienic environment.