Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday inaugurated a Special Committee saddled with the responsibility of restoring the original master plan of Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki areas of the State, just as he vowed to bring environmental sanity to all nooks and crannies of the State.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the Lagos House in Ikeja, said his administration was passionately determined to rescue the fragile environment in the State from avoidable impediments, adding that his resolve was non-negotiable.
The Governor said over time, government had observed gross abuse of urban planning and environmental laws which necessitated the decision to embark on a major clean-up of the environment to restore it to its desired form.
“Cases of abandoned properties have become very rampant with miscreants and criminal elements taking over these properties as their base to cause havoc. The neat road sides of the past now parade pockets of kiosks, illegal parking lots, unapproved mechanic workshops, roadside beer parlours and commercial centres. In addition, originally residential areas now have industrial and commercial concerns located there, distorting the balance of the environment.
“These bad environmental practices, thriving in these prime areas, can no longer be tolerated and will be brought to an end immediately. These areas MUST regain their lost glory as this administration demands a return of environmental normalcy.
“A safe, clean and prosperous Lagos is non-negotiable; that is the commitment of our administration. We will not allow these environmental infractions to continue. We cannot allow our beautiful environment to be destroyed by people who have no regard for beauty, serenity, law and order,” Governor Ambode said.
While expressing his administration’s determination to make all locations, schemes and estates in the State clean and safe, the Governor vowed to do everything possible to bring environmental sanity back to every part of the State.
“This is not a one-off exercise. The Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Lekki clean-up is the pilot scheme and this rescue operation has come to stay until we achieve the Lagos of our dreams,” he said.
Specifically, the responsibilities of the Committee are: “Immediately commence the implementation of the approved action plan and execution of the clean-up exercise; develop strategies for preventing re-occurrences as well as other recommendations as necessary to sustain environmental renewal of these areas; and embark on a public sensitization exercise for the sustenance of a cleaner community in the axis.”
Besides, Governor Ambode appealed to all stakeholders to give the committee the maximum support required for the success of the initiative and for the overall benefit of the State.
The Committee is chaired by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, while other members are Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare; Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Folorunso Folarin Coker; Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Engr. Ade Akinsanya; Special Adviser to the Governor on Urban Development, Mrs. Yetunde Afusat Onabule; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Political Matters, Adekunle Olayinka; General Manager, Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Mr. Segun Adeniji; and General Manager, Lagos State Urban Renewal Authority (LASURA), Mr. Lateef Sholebo.
Others include Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sulaimon Dogo; Chairman, Lagos State Special Task Force on Environmental Offences, Supol Olayinka Egbeyemi; Sole Administrators of Iru/Victoria Island and Ikoyi/Obalende Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) – Princess Aderemi Adebowale and Hon. Goke Olawale; Representative of Victoria Island and Ikoyi Residents’ Association (VIIRA) – Dr. Salami, Alhaji Muse and Mr. Jide Bibire Sanmiwa; Chairmen of Community Development Councils (CDCs) for the two LCDAs – Mr. Jolly Johnson and Rev Seriki.
Responding on behalf of members of the Committee, Bello thanked Governor Ambode for the confidence reposed in them to do the job, adding that members of the Committee were carefully selected and fully ready to carry out the task.
He said the job cannot be done alone by government, and as such, residents should support the Committee with regular feedback.