Oshodi Demolition: Traders Count Losses
Though it was long envisaged, but the widespread demolition of some structures and shops at the popular Oshodi market threw many traders off balance.
The Lagos State Government through the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development had on Tuesday entered the area with bulldozers.
They were accompanied with frightening gun-carrying law enforcement agents to demolished buildings on the right of way for the expansion of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road.
The demolition is still ongoing as at Friday, February 1, 2018.
The only recognition left of the expansive market were the ruins of the place, broken tiles, planks, zinc, and a few items from shops of those who couldn’t salvage their goods before the demolition.
Bounce News gathered that some of traders unfortunately begun the evacuation of their goods when they sighted the officials with bulldozers accompanied by large number of security men heading their way.
It was learnt that those who manage to salvage their property made use of cart pushers and commercial buses-(Danfo).
Out of hurry, some fragile goods were destroyed in the course of evacuation. Some were also stolen by hoodlums who took advantage of the situation to steal.
When Bounce News visited the place on Thursday afternoon, the expressions on the faces of the traders were that of hopelessness and anguish.
They were still lamenting the action of the government as they were busy counting their losses which is reportedly in the region of millions of Naira.
One of the traders who pleaded anonymity for fear of victimization revealed how the demolition of her shop has rendered her financially devastated.
" I have no other means of income apart from my shop. Now that the shop has been demolished, I don’t know what to do.”
"I have no other shop to fall back on. But I am a very optimistic person and also have faith in God that He will see me through this terrible period.”
Also, another trader who was simply identified as Obinna, said sadly, many of the affected traders had just renewed their tenancy only days earlier.
“I just renewed my tenancy. How do I get my money back?"
Compensations will be paid appropriately –Govt
The demolition exercise was confirmed by Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Rotimi Ogunleye who however stressed that the government would pay compensations appropriately to property owners with necessary documents.
The commissioner further pointed out that the government had, in recent time, held meetings with owners of propert that had to give way for the construction of the affected areas.
Ogunleye said, “Before we remove any structure in Lagos State, the state government would first hold stakeholders’ meeting with the affected property owners within their domain to obtain their buy-in and commitment towards the projects.
“The government has held meetings in all these locations and during these meetings allayed stakeholders’ fears and assured them that the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode would not remove any structure without following due process”.
The Commissioner appealed to all those affected by the demolition exercise along the International Airport Road as well as other areas of the State to promptly submit their planning documents.