The Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Wasiu Anifowoshe, has denied giving approval to the Lagos State Building Investment Company Plc to demolish structures in some estates in the state.
Anifowoshe spoke with newsmen on the sideline of the stakeholder’s meeting organised by the Lagos State House of Assembly Ad hoc Committee on Housing investigating petitions trailing illegal demolition of buildings in the state’s Low-Cost Housing Estates.
He said that the law empowers the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development to be the only agency to remove any illegal structure in the state.
He said: “My ministry approves all demolitions in the state. We have so many papers in our ministry to that effect.
“All government parastatals in Lagos State come to the Ministry of Physical Planning for whatever demolition they want to do in the state. It is now meant for us to charge them or not.
“The demolition (of structures in estates) in Amuwo Odofin, Ogba Ijaiye, Ipaja, Isolo and others were not approved by the Ministry of Physical Planning.
“They were not done by my ministry and I don’t know who did them.’’
Meanwhile, the News Agency of Nigeria reports that there has been a running battle between the Assembly and the Managing Director of the LBIC, Folashade Folivi, over her attitude to the investigation.
The Ad hoc Committee Chairman, Olanrewaju Layode, had on Thursday accused Folivi of disrespecting the committee and warned the managing director that it might evoke its powers on her for failure to honour its meetings in the course of its investigation.
Layode said that the rescheduled meeting held on Tuesday, which Folivi eventually honoured, was cancelled because the managing director did not come with necessary documents to aid the committee’s work.
He said that the committee expected Folivi to attend the meeting with the Memorandum of Understanding of the company.
He said: “Folashade Folivi did not follow the MOU of the company with the demolition and contravened the law of her company.
“She did what her company ought not to do and built structures on lands where she was not supposed to build, some of which were meant for recreation and social amenities in the estates.
“That is why we want her to appear on the floor of the House to show that nobody is witch-hunting her.’’
Layode said that having failed to honour the call of the committee during visits to the estates and failure to attend the meeting with the necessary documents, Folivi would have to appear before the entire House.
He said: “We are reporting back to the House and she might be lucky and the Speaker would ask us to re-invite her for questioning.
“We just want her (Folivi) to know that she might not be competent for the office. We might go further to take actions when we see the MoU.’’