The Federal Government has served notices to traders under bridges and vehicle owners who park on major roads to relocate voluntarily or be evicted.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who inspected work on a section of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, recently, vowed to remove traders from under Lagos’ bridges and vehicles parked on right-of-way.
“As a people, we must understand the value of these assets; some of the habits that I see under our bridges and on our road setbacks must stop if we must get their full value.
“On the Ebute Ero section, in Lagos, for example, a thoroughfare for people that are moving from the Island to the Mainland is constricted by vehicles parked on the road and by those trading. We are going to remove them so that citizens can really enjoy the assets that their money helped to produce.
“People cannot do business at the expense of other people, and that place, to the best of my knowledge was not designated and approved under the town planning law as a trade area, and this is part of corruption. You turn public highway to your own private property and disentitle the entire public because you want to make a free gain.
“We must see this kind of non-compliant behavior for what they really are. They are criminal consequences under the Town and Urban Planning Law. I want to appeal to those people to start moving voluntarily in their own best interest; we intend to repossess that road.”
He said their abuse of the spaces caused traffic problem, particularly with the rail construction work going on at the outer Marina. That place (Ebute Ero) can be a huge relief if we can make it useable and we intend to do that.”
Reclaiming the right-of-way on all roads in the country has been a major preoccupation of the government, and at the last Council on Works, it directed its controller of works in all states to recover the full width of the Federal right-of-way of 45.72 metres on both sides from the centre line.
They were directed to remove all obstructions from highways such as speed breaks and develop better solutions such as pedestrian bridges where necessary to eliminate collision between vehicles and pedestrians.
They will also recover the full width of the Federal right-of-way of 45.72 metres on both sides from the centre line, remove all obstructions from highways such as speed breakers and develop better solutions such as pedestrian bridges where necessary to eliminate collision between vehicles and pedestrians.
Fashola had said that recovering the right-of-way on Federal highways was a matter of utmost priority, and that although the objective was not to relocate or drive away traders, but that the government was intent on relocating them to the set back of the 45.72m from road centre which constitute the right-of-way.
The controllers were also asked to erect sign boards at the boundaries of villages and towns “so that commuters can know as they travel what village or town they are approaching, entering or leaving as well as the distance.”
The Controllers have also been tasked to restore kilometre sign posts to all federal roads within their states to assist drivers and road users know how much progress they have made on their journey; restore all lane-marking and highway signs on the roads within the state.
They are also to clear federal highways of vegetation overgrowth for safety of commuters and, as much as possible, use local people to do these jobs in order to create some employment opportunities.