Lagos State Uncovers Illegal Settlements Under Ikoyi Bridges

Lagos State Government discovers and clears two illegal settlements under bridges in Ikoyi, Nigeria, citing public safety and structural integrity concerns. The clearance operations result in 29 arrests and the removal of 86 makeshift rooms and a container used for illicit activities.

Quadri Adejumo
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Lagos State Uncovers Illegal Settlements Under Ikoyi Bridges

Lagos State Uncovers Illegal Settlements Under Ikoyi Bridges

The Lagos State Government has discovered and cleared two illegal settlements located beneath bridges in the upscale Ikoyi area of Lagos, Nigeria. The latest discovery was made under the Osborne Bridge, where the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), also known as Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI), swiftly commenced a clearance operation on Thursday.

The Osborne Bridge discovery comes just days after the government uncovered another, illegal, bridge settlement under the nearby Dolphin Estate Bridge. There, a total of 86 makeshift rooms, partitioned into 10x10 and 12x10 sizes, were found, along with a container used for various illicit activities. Shockingly, these illegal dwellings were being rented out to tenants at an average annual rate of N250,000.

Why this matters: The presence of illegal settlements under critical infrastructure points poses significant risks to public safety and the structural integrity of the bridges, highlighting the need for effective urban planning and management in rapidly growing cities. The government's efforts to address this issue have broader implications for addressing the root causes of urbanization and ensuring sustainable development.

Commissioner for the Environment, Tokunbo Wahab, disclosed the Osborne Bridge finding on his official social media handle, highlighting the government's commitment to eradicating such unauthorized settlements. The clearance operation at Dolphin Estate Bridge resulted in the arrest of 18 individuals squatting illegally on April 30, 2024, with an additional 11 persons apprehended during the continuation of the removal process.

Kunle Rotimi Akodu, Special Adviser to the Governor on the Environment, provided further details on the Dolphin Bridge incident, stating, "A total number of 86 rooms partitioned into 10x10 and 12x10 and a container used for different illegal activities were discovered under the Dolphin Estate Bridge. They have all been removed by the enforcement team of the Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources."

The presence of these illegal settlements poses significant risks to the structural integrity of the bridges and the safety of the occupants. By constructing makeshift dwellings beneath these critical infrastructure points, the illegal settlers expose the bridges to potential damage and compromise public safety.

The Lagos State Government's swift action in clearing these illegal settlements highlights its commitment to maintaining public order, ensuring the safety of its citizens, and preserving the integrity of the state's infrastructure. The arrests made during the clearance operations serve as a warning to those who might consider establishing unauthorized dwellings in the future.

The discovery and clearance of the illegal settlements under the Osborne and Dolphin Estate Bridges in Ikoyi highlight the ongoing challenges Lagos faces in managing rapid urbanization and population growth. As Commissioner Wahab stated, the government remains dedicated to identifying and addressing unauthorized dwellings while working towards sustainable housing solutions for its residents.

Key Takeaways

  • Lagos State Govt discovers 2 illegal settlements under bridges in Ikoyi area.
  • Settlements posed risks to public safety and bridge structural integrity.
  • Govt clears settlements, arrests 29 individuals, and vows to eradicate unauthorized dwellings.
  • Illegal settlers rented out makeshift rooms for N250,000/year.
  • Govt committed to sustainable housing solutions for residents.