The Lagos State government has commenced the clearing of shanties and the reclamation of the Right of Way (RoW) for the Red Rail project corridor from Agbado, Ogun, to Ebute Metta, Lagos.
The enforcement team was led by the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Oluyinka Olumide. Olumide was accompanied by the Special Adviser, e-GIS and Urban Development, Dr. Olajide Babatunde, as well as the General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Mr. Gbolahan Oki, and senior directors from both the agency and the ministry.
LASBCA is an agency under the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development. The enforcement action commenced from the Lateef Jakande Station in Agbado, at the Lagos-Ogun boundary, and continued through Iju to the Babatunde Fashola Station in Agege.
All makeshift stalls along the rail lines were removed, and permanent structures, including four new-generation churches, were partially demolished. Other encroachments were also removed. Two new churches under construction were sealed and marked with quit notices, while traders hurriedly removed their wares from makeshift stalls as they were being demolished.
Members of the demolition team sensitized traders at various locations about the dangers of trading on the new train corridor. They communicated with traders in both English and Yoruba, warning them of the consequences of returning to the rail tracks, which included arrest and prosecution.
The LASBCA boss, Mr. Oki, insisted that the lives of Lagos residents were “more important than any business,” and therefore, the operation had to be carried out smoothly. Oki, who supervised the removal of obstructions on the RoW, emphasized that houses whose fences encroached on road setbacks must be removed.
Speaking about the exercise, Olumide stated that the enforcement would continue along the entire train corridor. He affirmed that the exercise would be sustained to ensure the safety of all Lagos residents along the Red Rail Line project corridor.
Olumide advised traders and other business owners to relocate to the markets and instructed his team to inspect the corridor every Tuesday and Thursday to apprehend defaulters and bring them to court.
“What we are doing is a cleanup of the corridor along the Red Rail Line because the incoming train will be very fast. It is not advisable for pedestrians to be along the corridor, primarily for their safety. Life is much more important to the state government, and, in that regard, we have to clear up the entire corridor.
We will continue to clean up this corridor from the beginning to the end along the Red Line. People must refrain from erecting any structures along this corridor.
They must comply because their lives are more important to us. I urge everyone to go online and check all rail stations worldwide. They are not places for people to walk, trade, or conduct businesses,” he emphasized.
The Red Line Rail project is a 37-kilometer North-South rail route proposed to run from Agbado to Marina, with 13 stations including Agbado, Iju, Agege, Ikeja, Murtala Muhammad International Airport, the Domestic Airport, Oshodi, Mushin, Yaba, Ebute Meta, Iddo, Ebute Ero, and Marina.