Some operatives of the Office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Central Business Districts (CBD) on Tuesday embarked on the removal and clean-up of illegal structures and makeshift shops erected under the Eko Bridge by Ebute-Ero/Ejalonibu and its environs within the Lagos Island Business District.
The exercise was in line with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s directives to ensure that bridges in Lagos, especially within Lagos Island, are free from illegal structures and activities that could constitute an environmental nuisance to the area as well as forestall a repeat of the fire incident that engulfed the Apongbon Bridge last year.
Deputy Director and Head of Administration of CBD operations in Lagos Island, Mrs. Abidekun Balikis, who lead the removal and clean-up exercise, noted that the Agency is determined to enforce the zero tolerance stance against street trading and illegal activities under bridges and roads within the state as directed by the Governor.
She stated that CBD is committed to the safeguarding of public infrastructures and amenities within the Lagos Island Business District as well as the full restoration of the beauty and masterplan of the Lagos Island Business District in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S.
PLUS agenda of the present administration.
Abidekun informed that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s strategic effort to transform the entire Lagos Island axis into a world-class business and tourism hub will not be allowed to be derailed by the activities of illegal traders, street hawkers, mechanics and miscreants.
“These environmental abuses, especially under the bridges by traders and mechanics, can no longer be tolerated. We are working with relevant agencies of government, trade unions and leadership of market associations to check these illegalities”, she said.
The Deputy Director advised street traders selling and displaying their wares along the roadsides, walkways and under bridges as well as mechanics, religious bodies and food sellers operating under the bridges and around public buildings in the entire Lagos Island Business District to comply with government directives and quit their illegal activities or face prosecution.
While warning street urchins and miscreants parading as “omo onile” who are in the habit of allocating spaces to traders under the bridges to desist, she maintained that no amount of resistance and intimidation would make the government rescind its resolve to clean up under bridges in the entire Lagos Island Business District in line with the vision of achieving a mega city status as envisaged in the T.H.E.M.E.S. PLUS Agenda of the present administration.
Mrs. Abidekun berated the recalcitrant nature of the traders and squatters who had started erecting makeshift shops and illegal structures under the bridge barely a few days before the bridge was reopened by the Governor to traffic.
She disclosed that the demolition exercise and removal of illegal structures and shops erected on roads, walkways and under the bridges within the Lagos Island Business District, which has impacted negatively on the environment and free flow of traffic, will be a continuous exercise that will be sustained and monitored regularly.