Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit Taskforce, on Wednesday, issued a 7-day ‘Removal Notice’ to owners and occupants of illegal structures, shanties, mechanic workshops, containerised kiosks and commercial bus garages around government public schools at Mile 2, Badagry Expressway, Lagos.
The Taskforce chairman, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, gave the order while addressing a gathering of illegal owners, occupants, traders, mechanics and sectional heads of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), warning them to immediately vacate the entire area as well as the vicinity of the schools within the stipulated period.
In a statement made available to newsmen by Taofiq Adebayo, spokesperson of the agency, Egbeyemi affirmed that the ‘Removal Order’ became imperative following outcry by residents, particularly management of the public schools, including Imoye High School and Amuwo Odofin Junior Secondary School.
According to him, the school authorities had complained that criminal elements had turned the area into hideouts and spots for carrying out their nefarious activities thereby making the environment unpleasant for learning.
“It was disheartening seeing these illegal business operators like mechanics, Iron benders, food, fruits vendors and others turning the entire perimeter fence of these schools into illegal trading spots. In addition, they have littered the entire area with indiscriminate dumping of refuse and waste metal materials,” Egbeyemi lamented.
He said investigation conducted also revealed that these illegal structures and shanties which served as an abode to criminal elements, who robbed unsuspecting members of the public of their valuables along highways on Lagos- Badagry Expressway, do not have any permit or operating license from the Lagos State government.
The Taskforce boss reiterated that, immediately after the expiration of the ‘Removal Order’ on Monday, 3rd of March, 2020, the agency would embark on a clean-up exercise in the area as well as a clampdown on all criminal elements.
CSP Egbeyemi, however, cautioned traders and occupants not to make any financial contribution or bribe anyone in order to prevent or stop the removal order, stressing that the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had, on compassionate ground, approved monetary compensation for those who deserved it.