Commissioner Salako lied, we were not given notice before our premises were sealed — Lagos International Airport Road business owners

Posted by News Express | 25 July 2020 | 1,265 times

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Following the claims by the Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, that the state government gave pre-notice before sealing business premises located along Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road, owners of those businesses have denied the claims describing it as false.

Salako had said during his press conference that “contrary to the claims of the writer, the enforcement exercise was authorised and carried out in the most civilised manner, sequel to notices to all Lagosians and affected properties to make their planning permits handy for sighting by our enforcement  team.”

However, speaking while reacting to the claims of the Commissioner that there was pre- notification, the business owners said that the men of the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority in conjunction with officers of the Nigeria police on Wednesday afternoon stormed their premises in a commando style and began to seal the premises.

According to them, they were taken unawares because there was nothing like pre-notice. In fact, they said notice was been pasted on their walls the same time they were being sealed.

They told News Express on Friday that if the Commissioner claimed that business owners on Airport Road were given pre-notice before coming to seal their premises, he should make available duplicate of the notice and the channels that was used in the distribution since they did not receive any.

Achike Onwuasanya whose legal office was sealed said that instead of the Commissioner telling lies, he should apologize for the embarrassment that they caused to the people who are trying to survive after COVID-19 has spoiled their means of livelihood.

He said that he almost jumped out of the window because of the way the men of the Lagos State Physical Planning Authority stormed his office.

“The Commissioner said that they came in a civilised manner. That was a lie. He also said that they gave us pre-notice to keep our planning permit handy. That is also another lie. In Airport road now as I speak about 46 business premises are sealed. For banks, they include two; Zenith bank branches, GTB, Access Banks, Polaris bank, Fidelity, First bank, Ecobank, Sky, IBTC and Sterling banks.

“For hotels, they include Oriental Excel, Golden Tulip, Ibis hotel, Joy Gate Hotel, Ibis Royale, Presken Hotel, Welcome Center Hotel, among others. Fedex Courier Company is also on the list.

“Go there now, you will see their seal signs with date, 22nd of July 2020, even the notice they said they gave us was pasted on our buildings the same time they were sealing.

“So do you mean to tell me that if there was pre-notice all these corporate bodies would not comply with the directive of government. Or does it mean that all these buildings would be built without planning permit or that they can constitute illegal structures? So, what they did is a very big embarrassment on respected corporate bodies in Nigeria.”

Also speaking, another business owner, Zikka Thompson, said that most the buildings that were sealed are what made Murtala Muhammed befitting of an international airport road. He said that Murtala Muhammed Airport road is the gate way to Nigeria adding that it is the corporate offices that adorn the road that has elevated the airport.

According to him, the Commissioner should go and check how the road that leads to the international airports of other countries.

He said instead of going backwards, Nigerians should be aspiring to be like the other frontline nations.

He also said that government should be sympathetic to business owners along Murtala Muhammed International Airport road because they are among the worst hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The cordial relationship which is currently existing between the business community in Lagos State and the governor is being tarnished by the action of the commissioner because I am very sure that Sanwo-Olu can never authorise such a raid illegal action especially now that we are still battling with the COVID-19 pandemic. Imagine, after more than four months’ lockdown, we are now witnessing another lockdown. So, somebody wants to create bad image for the governor.”

 

 

•This property was sealed without prior notice, according to the owners

 


Source: News Express

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