Some property owners on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway on Tuesday called on the Lagos State Government to fast track the payment of compensation for the demolition of their buildings.
They made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, saying that the state government had failed to keep to its promise of paying the compensation.
NAN reports that the state government had on Monday embarked on the second phase of the demolition of buildings on the expressway to give way for construction works on the ongoing road project.
The demolition continued on Tuesday with some owners of property on the expressway struggling to remove the remains of their property from the ruins.
Mr Balogun Azeez, a landlord, said that owners of property on the expressway had earlier pleaded with the state government to pay their compensation before embarking on the demolition exercise.
Azeez said that he was at the stakeholders meeting convened by the state government where they were asked to submit their property titles, including C of O, Deed of Occupancy and other documents.
``I have submitted my titles to the appropriate quarter and we pleaded with the government to please pay our compensation before the demolition but the officials refused.
``I am appealing to them, because it is not good to destroy somebody’s shelter and allow the person to go homeless before you compensate him.
``They should fast track the process for our compensation so that those displaced from their homes and offices would quickly relocate and continue their businesses,’’ he said.
Azeez said that he received the notice for the demolition about five years ago, adding that the demolition was not carried out since them.
``For over two years, they have been coming and giving 24 hours and 48 hours notices and nothing had been done, but for this recent one, there was no prior notice,’’ he said.
Mrs Mercy Orette of No. 23 on the road said that two years ago, the state government said that the demolition exercise would be in three phases.
Orette said that they had been asking the government officials when the demolition would take place to enable them to pack their things.
``So, I was surprised when I was called back on my way to the camp that they have started demolishing our buildings.
``Presently, there is no place for us to stay.
``All the tenants are crying because they have no place to stay. I don’t know what government wants us to do,’’ she said.
Another tenant, Miss Jennifer Udi, said that she was stranded as the demolition had affected her house and the place of business.
Udi called on the state government to compensate her landlady so that she could to receive some stipends to carry on with her life.
Mr Martin Uchendu, a worker with the Young Shall Grow transport, said that the demolition exercise had affected his source of income.
Uchendu said that the exercise would make some people to take to crimes to survive due to the demolition of their business premises without compensation or alternative place.
The Ministry of Works and Infrastructure had in a statement signed by Mr Biola Fagunwa, the Assistant Director, Press and Public Relations, said that the state government had compensated the property owners.
Fagunwa, however, advised those who were returning to their former buildings or shops after they had been relocated and paid off to stay off the place.
He said that their actions were condemnable.
``When the time comes to work on the area, there will be no considerations for such people since government had done its best. Such people are doing so at their own risk,” Fagunwa said.