The Lagos State Government has issued an order for the immediate suspension of all approvals of land extensions into the lagoon at the Banana Island and Osborne Foreshore axis of Ikoyi, Lagos.
The government also said all construction and dredging activities on the axis must stop, as erring firms stood the risk of prosecution and losing their equipment.
The suspension order is contained in a statement by Mr Mukaila Sanusi, Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, and issued to newsmen on Sunday, January 31, 2021.
He said the order was in a joint declaration of the ministry and that of the Waterfront Infrastructure Development.
“Government hereby suspends all existing, pending and subsequent approvals in respect of all land extensions into the lagoon at the Banana Island and Osborne Foreshore, Ikoyi.
“’The government has also ordered the immediate stop of all ongoing construction works, reclamations and other similar activities on account of extension approvals, granted or being processed at Banana Island and Osborne Foreshore, Ikoyi,” he said.
He advised the public to immediately comply with the “Stop Work/Suspension” order or risk facing criminal charges and the confiscation of their dredging equipment.
Sanusi noted that the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako, and his counterpart in the Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Mr Kabiru Ahmed Abdullahi, had raised an alarm over the increasing and continuing degradation of the Lagos shoreline.
He quoted the commissioners as saying that the shoreline degradations were as a result of the indiscriminate illegal dredging, reclamation and land extensions into the Lagos lagoon.
“Of particular concern to the state government are the extensions being illegally carried out at the Banana Island and Osborne Foreshore, Ikoyi,” he stated.
According to him, the commissioners said such land reclamation and extension activities had resulted in gross violations of the physical planning laws of the state and have affected the ecosystem of the entire area.
He noted that such persistent indiscriminate and illegal proliferation of dredging and reclamation practices had brought about serious distortion in the aesthetics of the shoreline.
Sanusi also noted that the trend had high potential for causing environmental degradation and capable of producing terrible consequences, if not curbed.