Lagos State Government has appealed for understanding and patience on the part of residents over the removal of trees and green areas necessitated by road rehabilitation and urban regeneration works in Ikoyi.
According to a statement jointly signed by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrstructure, Aramide Adeyoye and the General Manager Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK) Adetoun Popoola,
The Special Adviser to the Governor explained that 4 roads in each of Ikeja, Ikoyi and Victoria Island, were selected as pilot for holistic upgrade for the State Urban Regeneration Initiative. Construction works has since commenced on three of the four roads to the applause and cooperation of a very large majority of the residents.
In line with International best Practices, the construction of each of the road projects was preceded by stakeholder engagements with all the participants or attendees taken through the scope, methodology, potential impact and mitigation of the individual and collective projects.
Adeyoye said, Government, commenced road expansion and drainage projects in certain parts of Ikoyi, to improve the state of road and drainage infrastructure and reduce flood risks. Usually, during such construction activities, disruptions to the environment are expected, which sometimes include felling of long-standing trees and clearing of some already beautified spaces.
While we understand the concerns of the residents of the area, we appeal that the bigger picture in terms of urban renewal and flood control in Ikoyi area is given the necessary priority.
The Special Adviser highlighted the fact that the project is of high strategic importance to the State Government, She however, assured the residents that the benefits and impact of the road and drainage construction far outweighs the environmental cost incurred in the process.
While acknowledging the support of the Victoria Island Ikoyi Residents Association (VIIRA) who were the anchors for the stakeholder meetings held at Thompson Avenue, Milverton Road and Lateef Jakande Road, where the works have started, while the stakeholder meeting for Macdonald Road is outstanding.
She reiterated the commitment of the present administration to the regeneration of the old Government Reserved Areas of Ikeja, Ikoyi and Victoria Island, even as it relentlessly pursues the development, upgrade and rehabilitation of other areas of the State.
Also the General Manager , LASPARK, Adetoun Popoola said Section 432, Part XIII of the Environmental Management and Protection Law 2017 empowers LASPARK to supervise and grant permit for the felling of trees in Lagos, LASPARK ensured that the trees within the right of way alignment were properly assessed and enumerated. This was a well thought-out, strategic and unanimous decision by all relevant stakeholders including residents under the auspices of Victoria Island / Ikoyi Residents Association (VIIRA) The process is also being duly supervised and the appropriate permits to remove some trees were issued to the contractor through the Ministry of Works & Infrastructure.
While assuring residents that most of the trees removed from the Right of Way would be restored, Popoola added that, according to the LASPARK Law; provisions in terms of a green restoration fee have been made to replant five trees as replacements for each tree felled.
“When re – planted, the trees will continue to function as a viable carbon sink to improve air quality and beautify the environment of the city of Lagos. According to her, the Agency has two well-equipped nurseries where tree seedlings are propagated to ensure seamless restoration wherever necessary. LASPARK as a responsible Agency under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources remains committed to creating and maintaining green and healthy spaces for a Greater Lagos.
She added that LASPARK as a responsible Agency under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources remains committed to creating and maintaining green and healthy spaces for a Greater Lagos.