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Lagos To Demolish 1,421 Houses In Festac



The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) has revealed plans to demolish 1,421 houses in Phase 2, Festac Town, Amuwo-Odofin area of Lagos State, News About Nigeria gathered.

The disclosure was made by FHA’s South-West Zonal Manager, Akintola Olagbemiro, during a recent visit to the affected area to assess the level of building violations, as reported by The Guardian.

Olagbemiro expressed frustration, noting that despite numerous letters and stakeholder meetings, developers continued to construct buildings on swampy land without adhering to necessary requirements.

He stated, “After so many years of trying to get into the property belonging to FHA, which we labelled as Festac Phase 2, there has been encroachment and illegal development, and it’s turning the place into a slum.

“We are trying to see how best we can resolve it and make people live in a more serene environment. Unfortunately, there have been cases of illegal developers and land grabbers.”

Francisca Michael-James, Deputy General Manager of FHA in charge of Urban and Regional Planning for the Southwest, expressed disbelief at the continued construction despite warnings.

She said, “We have given the residents several notices, but to our surprise, works are still going on, without regard to the law. Now we have the permission of our management, and we will ask for security backup and start enforcement.

“We will start removing structures from the roads and those on pipelines set back. We will also remove the buildings constructed after the stakeholders’ meetings, where we agreed that everyone should wait until we are done with our assessment, but some of them continued to build and concluded that we will regularise, but regularisation is not automatic. Now, the ones that did not meet regularisation will have to go.”

Addressing the consequences for those who violated building regulations, Michael-James explained, “In the law, if we demolish, we are supposed to penalise the owner of the building and charge for the fees for the cost of carrying out the operation.

“Assuming any of the buildings collapsed, the landlord will be charged with manslaughter, but the first point of call will be pointing accusing fingers at the agency so, as to avoid that, that’s why we want to carry out the enforcement.

“The enforcement will be done soon. The first thing we are doing is to clear the road; some of the buildings will be partially demolished for the right of way. 677 houses will be demolished, and 744 will be demolished partially.”