The Ogun and Lagos State governments are set to clash over the planned demolition of about 1,000 houses and shops in their border communities to give way for the construction of the Rail Mass Transit project by the latter.
Our correspondent gathered that a notice of demolition was served by officials of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority on residents of Itoki, Agbado and Ijoko in the Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The affected areas are in the border communities of both states.
Our correspondent obtained a notice signed by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of LAMATA, Mrs Abimbola Akinajo, and addressed to one of the landlords in Agbado.
The notice dated November 8, 2021, was titled, ‘Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red Line Project Development: Removal Notice on Physical Development within the Right of Way’.
Based on the removal notices, about 1,000 houses will be affected.
According to the Lagos Government, the red line is a 37-kilometre north-south railroad project, which has the capacity to move over one million passengers daily when operational.
It indicated that the construction of the Agbado station and associated infrastructure “is in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Nigerian Railway Corporation.”
The Lagos State Government added that its agency, LAMATA, was also “in close consultation with the Ogun State Ministry of Transportation about the development.”
The notice stated in part, “In order to establish the Right of Way for this proposed development, houses and businesses will be affected.
“Therefore, this letter serves as a notice to inform you that your property is likely to be acquired in overriding public interest.”
However, the Ogun State House of Assembly, on Thursday, declared the removal notice as “null and void.”
The Assembly called for a formal agreement between the two states through a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the planned removal of structures at the border communities.
It said the MoU would ensure that the required compensation would be paid to property owners, whose structures might be affected in the course of the implementation of the proposed project.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo, gave the directive while responding to the submission of the lawmaker representing the Ifo II State Constituency, Ganiyu Oyedeji.
Speaking at the plenary, Oyedeji informed lawmakers of an unauthorised distribution of demolition notice by LAMATA to residents of Itoki, Agbado and Ijoko.
He stressed the need for the governments of the two states to jointly agree on the modalities for the implementation of the proposed projects and how the affected residents would be properly and promptly compensated.