The Federal Government has said it will soon begin enforcement of law to effect eviction of illegal occupants under Lagos bridges and protect them from further damage.
Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Adedamola Kuti, said this on Thursday in a telephone interview with newsmen. Kuti gave the indication against the backdrop of the reopening of the Apapa/Leventis Bridge to traffic on Wednesday.
He explained why the Apapa/Leventis Bridge was shut for permanent repairs from June 2018 and reopened on Wednesday, Feb. 6. 2019. He said efforts were on to protect the newly reopened bridge as well as other bridges in Lagos. “The bridge was actually closed for eight months. We closed it in June and then reopened it early February,’’ he said. He said the ministry of Power, Works and Housing was working on modalities with the Lagos State Government and law enforcement agencies on the enforcement. He said eviction notices had been served on illegal occupants on the bridges since 2018. He said the Apapa/Leventis Bridge, like most bridges in Lagos, was damaged by fire due to activities of miscreants. He noted that notices to evacuate the Right of Way of all the bridges had elapsed, hence the ongoing consultations to begin enforcement of the order.
NAN reports that the eviction notices were to take effect from Sept. 24, 2018. “We are working with the law enforcement agencies to get the modalities for eviction of illegal occupants. “We will liaise with Lagos State Government; we would get over to them not only on the Apapa/Leventis Bridge but also on all the bridges in Lagos. “This is to ensure that we dislodge these miscreants and other illegal occupants under Lagos bridges,’’ he said.
The ministry, on Wednesday, reopened the Apapa/Leventis Bridge damaged by fire in 2016 to traffic after completing its repair. The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, first ordered the closure of the bridge for emergency repairs in August 2016 after a portion of the bridge damaged by fire caved in. It was re-opened to light traffic after the emergency repairs and was later briefly closed for investigative tests in 2017.
However, the bridge was shut again in June 2018 after Julius Berger; the contractor handling the project, imported some materials to aid its permanent repairs. (NAN)