The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako has declared that the on-going enforcement activities would remain on course despite attempts by some Developers, Property Owners and users to discredit the exercise through the media.
He stated this during an interview session with some sections of the media in his office in Alausa on Thursday.
Salako reiterated that the importance of the exercise could not be overemphasised as it is in furtherance of the ideals of the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda of Government, particularly the Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy Pillar which among others envisions an organised, livable and sustainable physical environment.
Making reference to the online publication by News Express, attempting to discredit the enforcement exercise on Banks, Hotels and other Corporate entities on Airport Road on Wednesday July 22, Salako said that it was unethical for journalists to publish unverified claims without balancing their stories.
He added that the online media outfit dealt serious blow on the integrity of investigative journalism by publishing untruths about the exercise, the personality of the Commissioner and the noble intention of the Lagos State Government.
“Contrary to the claims of the writer, the enforcement exercise is authorised and carried out in the most civilised marner, sequel to notices to all Lagosians and affected properties to make their Planning Permits handy for sighting by our enforcement team” he said.
The Commissioner added that “for the avoidance of doubt, the exercise is not targeted at particular individuals, groups or association but designed to rid the State of illegal buildings, prevent building collapse and sanitize the built environment for the progress of our dear State.”
It should be recalled that the exercise has been carried out in different parts of the State and involving various types of buildings in Ikoyi, Lekki, Amuwo-Odofin, Awolowo Road and Magodo among others.
In all these places Developers and Property Owners, rather than resort to cheap blackmail, have thereafter resolved to cooperate with the State Government to eradicate illegal buildings.
Stating further, the Commissioner said that democracy could not thrive without respect for rules and regulations by the people while Government would continue to play its role of enforcing the law for the harmonious development of the society.
He explained further that in every sane clime no one was allowed to errect buildings without Permit nor surpass the approval order of the permit while any infractions of the rules would be met with stiff penalties.
” We have also said here repeatedly that it was time we jettison the old order of harphazard, unapproved developments that dot every part of Lagos State and subscribe to the saner and acceptable method of following the due process in building construction as that is what is safe and best for all” he said.
Salako urged the media to always validate their stories before going to the press as disinforming the people would be doing a great disservice to revered institution.