By Segun James
The Lagos State government will begin work on the urban regeneration of identified communities on Lagos Island, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said.
Sanwo-Olu restated this when he paid a visit to one of the urban regeneration centres weekend, saying that Lagos truly needs regeneration especially on Lagos Island.
The governor assured residents of the affected areas that his administration will ensure a complete renewal of the entire community, emphasising on building of drainage channels, road upgrade and construction to ease vehicular movements of people and goods.
Sanwo-Olu, who was accompanied by the Deputy Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Sanni Eshinlokun, and some members of the State Executive Council including the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, went round the Onala playing ground, the demolished Jankara market, the Isalegangan regeneration site, Adeniji Adele, Ebute Elefun and some areas around Idumagbo designated for redevelopment.
The governor, who during his electioneering, spoke on the need for urban renewal especially in some communities on Lagos Island, added that sincerity is the major issue militating against urban redevelopment in the state.
He said: “When you want to take people’s properties and you want to regenerate, they must first see sincerity of purpose. What are the additional plans that you have for them before you could regenerate?”
He assured Lagosians that his administration will provide a stop gap for at least two to three years, adding that: “You need to do what we call proper enumeration.
“Once you can enumerate properly and determine who the original owners of properties are, and you sit and have an agreement, then the regeneration will start.”
He also stated that his administration will work out a proper model before embarking on the project to ensure strong confidence.
“I have said the major thing is sincerity of purpose knowing full well that you are not out to circumvent them or to short-change them.
“Once that is put on the table very clearly and transparently, we will get a success of it,” he said.
Speaking on the governor’s visit, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Salako, said Lagos Island regeneration plan is an important focal point for urban renewal of the Sanwo-Olu administration, noting that it is the heart of Lagos; Isale Eko, which is a historical centre.
Salako said the government has also considered its potentials for socio-economic and cultural revival, noting that the regeneration of Isale Eko will bring up its thriving arts and cultural vibes with local markets and commercial activities.
He said: ”Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu in line with the THEMES agenda of making Lagos a 21st century economy will tap into this dynamism and turn the potential into real investment opportunities and growth, in order to reverse the decay, slums and lack of effective services through the revitalisation programme for Lagos Island.”
He stated further that as part of the regeneration programme, the hovernment will commence the immediate re-planning of Jankara by preparing an action plan for the area.
”Work will also include infrastructure upgrade and resurfacing of the failed portion of the roads and de-silting of all drainage channels around the area and those around Adeniji Adele. The Onola playing field is also to be transformed to a befitting sporting centre that will help take the youths off the street and develop their community,” he said.