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Defence accuses Lagos of non-copliance on housing

14 April 2014, 21:42Henry Ifeanyi

Lagos - The Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, denied deploying soldiers to frustrate Lagos' housing projects.

He accused the State Government of failing to obtain environmental impact assessment for some of it housing projects.

Reacting to allegations by the state government that he was using soldiers to stall housing projects in the state, Obanikoro said he was only concerned about the safety of the housing project which government claimed was for the masses.

The minister explained he never stopped any building project being executed by the state but only visited the site of one of the projects out of curiosity.

He observed that one of the projects being carried out at Ilubirin area of the state was on a reclaimed area and was worried if government was truly sincere about the project been constructed for the masses.

"My worry is on the safety and hence the appropriateness of the reclaimed land for mass housing. Mass housing is for middle and low-income earners who depend largely on the government to ensure and protect them against environmental hazards and natural occurrences. It is for these people that the Lagos State Government plans homes for on a reclaimed lagoon land.

"I have spoken to experts on matters of reclaimed land and related environmental hazards in relation to this land; none of them has seen the environmental impact assessment for the Ilubirin development or the protection plan against rise in water levels.

"There are existing allegations by researchers that the reclamation of Ilubirin is contributory to flooding in areas of Lagos Island. In other words, a comprehensive EIA with stakeholders' approval is sacrosanct to the development of that land," he said.

Obanikoro, who is an indigene of Lagos, said he was "suspicious" that government was developing the project for few rich individuals and not the masses as it claimed.

He challenged the state government to show Lagos residents the environmental impact assessment of the housing project.

Obanikoro who is a stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have often been at loggerheads with the Lagos State Government over several issues in the state.

The minister is believed to be nursing ambition of becoming the next Lagos Governor after failing to achieve the feat in 2011.

- CAJ News

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