The Lagos State Government has issued a warning to the residents of state-owned housing schemes to desist from modifying the approved designs of structures within such estates.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing, Mr Wasiu Akewusola, gave the warning during a meeting with representatives of the Residents Association of Abraham Adesanya Estate at the state secretariat.
According to him, it is in the best interest of all residents of government-owned estates to stop alterations of structures and buildings in such estates.
Akewusola said such reconstruction included restyling, extension of and additions to existing facilities and in some extreme cases increase in levels of buildings.
He said that these alterations were 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.
“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 results in dire consequences such as reduced durability of the structure both for the homeowner and the other people in the environment,” he said.
Akewusola urged residents to desist from any form of redesigning of any building as this might cause damage to not only the house but the entire environment.
He stated that there was the need for the residents to maintain the original structural design to prevent future disaster.
“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 building was erected. Any plans to overload the capacity may result in disaster,” he said.
He also said all unapproved remodelling contravened the physical and urban planning law of the state government, adding that the affected buildings would be demolished by the appropriate agency of the state government.
“The demolition of illegal and unapproved structures in government-owned estates will commence very soon without any further warning,” he said.
Akewusola added that the state government was aware of some residents who had turned such estates’ setbacks into marketplaces and cautioned that it would no longer be business as usual as the state would ensure that sanity returned to such estates.
According to him, the state monitoring team has improved on its surveillance activities to ensure compliance with set environmental standards.
He said the state government had also concluded plans to upgrade the drainage system in the area to combat incessant flooding in the estate, adding that the government would continue to be responsive to the challenges confronting the people in the estates and the state in general.