The Lagos State government Monday declared that no fewer than 400 filling stations in the ancient town of Badagry are illegal, saying none of the petrol stations have a building permit or any approvals by the relevant agencies in the state.
Consequently, about 20 of the stations have been sealed while efforts are currently on-going to sanction other stations and their owners for flouting the building laws.
Disturbed by the rate of total disregard for the building laws in the ancient town, the management of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and other relevant agencies had embarked on an inspection tour in the ancient town to examine the number of buildings erected without approval.
The law regulating the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development enables the agency to make certain decisions such as declaring such structures as illegal.
Section 26 (1) of the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law, provides: “Any building construction carried out within the State without a Planning Permit from the relevant Authority shall be deemed illegal and treated as such.” Sub-section (2) of the law also stipulates that: “Any development at variance with the planning permit granted and beyond the approvable limit granted for the area or zone shall be deemed.”
But speaking with New Telegraph on efforts to change the narrative of unauthorized buildings yesterday, the General Manager of the Agency, Gbolahan Oki, an architect, decried the rate of abuse of building laws in the town, saying that over 20 filling stations had been sealed while others would also be sanctioned appropriately.
Oki said: “I’m in Badagry now; I have been in the town since Sunday. We found out that most property owners don’t comply with the building laws here. We have over 400 petrol stations in Badagry and none of them has building plan approval and we have also discovered a lot of illegal buildings within the metropolis.”
To effectively carry out the enforcement, the LASBCA boss said that he would meet the monarchs and other traditional rulers in the ancient town on the need for the state government to enforce the building laws, saying that enforcement was necessary to guarantee safety of lives and property in any part of the state.
“We have started sealing those erring petrol stations. As I speak to you now, we have sealed over 20 filling stations. I’m going to meet with the Akran of Badagry and other monarchs to inform them of the need to do the needful. About 20 stations have been so far sealed and more will also have to be sealed,” he added.