The Lagos state government has said that it would begin to seal residential buildings used by churches, mosques and other religious gatherings illegally.
The government claimed that 30 days removal notice has been sent to operator of the religious entities.
A statement issued by the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, said the actions of the religious entities were against the state’s masterplan, adding that the actions had brought discomfort on Lagos residents.
Wahab said that similar notices were also sent to owners of lounges, clubhouses and bars who have also converted residential buildings across the state into illegal without approval for change of use.
According to him, the removal notice became imperative following security concerns of citizens and repeated complaints of non-adherence to safety and security guidelines issued to the club owners.
He said that after 30 days owners and occupiers of such structures that were illegally converted to other use across the state without approval for change of use, would not have access into the buildings except they were revert to the original use of the structures.
The state government indicated that its decision to clampdown on the identified entities turning residential into other use, was to ensure sanity return to nooks and crannies of the state and that its actions was sequel to the distortion of the masterplan of the Lagos, especially residential areas, by people who in gross disregard to the regulatory provisions of the law turned residential areas into clubhouses and worship centres thereby constituting a nuisance to the environment.
Tokunbo stated that the removal notice was necessary to prepare minds of members of public toward the government’s action particularly for security concerns of citizens and repeated complaints of non-adherence to safety and security guidelines issued to the club owners.
“Any owner of buildings in residential areas that have been converted to churches, mosques, clubs, bars or lounges without the requisite approvals should evict such occupants before the expiration of the 30 days’ final notice as the state will not give further notice of sealing but outright removal of such non-conforming buildings at the cost of the owners”, he added.