The Ogun State Government initiated the demolition of shanties and makeshift structures in Kara along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Tuesday.
Led by Farouq Akintunde, the Senior Special Assistant to the State Governor on Environment, the operation aimed to rid the area of illegal structures and shanties that were considered both unsightly and potential havens for criminal activities.
Akintunde emphasised that the move was a crucial step in positioning Ogun State as a major industrial hub in Nigeria.
He stressed the importance of creating an environment conducive to attracting serious investors, citing the need to eliminate shanties and garbage along the expressway.
He noted, “Ogun State has a role to play in the economic advancement of the nation. No serious investor will come here and partner with us with all these kinds of shanties and garbage.”
During the operation, it was observed that the road median and spaces under the Kara Bridge were marred by litter, including faeces and debris.
Despite mild opposition from some protesters, the heavy presence of security personnel, including police officers and operatives of the Ogun State Community Social Orientation and Safety Corps, ensured the smooth progress of the demolition.
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 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.”