Lagos State Government today appealed for understanding and patience on the part of residents over the removal of trees and green areas necessitated by road rehabilitation and urban regeneration works in Ikoyi
According to a statement jointly signed by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Aramide Adeyoye and the General Manager Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK) Adetoun Popoola,
The Special Adviser to the Governor explained that 4 roads in each of Ikeja, Ikoyi and Victoria Island environs were selected as pilot for holistic upgrade under the State Urban Regeneration Initiative.
The construction works on the road projects, in line with International best practice, were preceded by stakeholder engagements with all the participants or attendees taken through the scope, methodology, potential impact and mitigation of the individual and collective projects.
She said, Government, commenced road expansion and drainage projects in those parts of Ikoyi, to improve the state of road and drainage infrastructure including the reduction of flood risk. In achieving this, disruptions to the environment are not unexpected, which sometimes include felling of long-standing trees and clearing of some already beautified spaces
In effect, we understand the concerns of the residents of the area, and appeal that the bigger picture in terms of urban renewal and flood control in Ikoyi area is given the necessary priority.
She also acknowledged the support of the Victoria Island Ikoyi Residents Association (VIIRA) who were the anchors for the stakeholder meetings held at Thompson Avenue, Milverton Road and Lateef Jakande Road, where the works have started. The stakeholder meeting for Macdonald Road is outstanding and would naturally hold before the works commence.
She reassured the residents that Government is not unaware of their concerns about the felling of trees particularly those in the right of way, and further appealed that urban renewal and flood control in the Ikoyi area of the state is given the necessary priority and continued support, even as it relentlessly pursues the development, upgrade and rehabilitation of other areas of the State.
Also speaking on the same issue, the General Manager, LASPARK, Adetoun Popoola, stated that Section 432, Part XIII of the Environmental Management and Protection Law 2017 empowers LASPARK to supervise and grant permit for the felling of trees in Lagos, LASPARK ensured that the trees within the right of way alignment were properly assessed and enumerated. This was a well thought-out, strategic and unanimous decision by all relevant stakeholders including residents under the auspices of Victoria Island / Ikoyi Residents Association (VIIRA) The process is also being duly supervised and the appropriate permits to remove some trees were issued to the contractor through the Ministry of Works & Infrastructure.
While assuring residents that most of the trees removed from the Right of Way would be restored, Popoola added that, according to the LASPARK Law; provisions in terms of a green restoration fee have been made to replant five trees as replacements for each tree felled.
“When re – planted, the trees will continue to function as a viable carbon sink to improve air quality and beautify the environment of the city of Lagos. According to her, the Agency has two well-equipped nurseries where tree seedlings are propagated to ensure seamless restoration wherever necessary. LASPARK as a responsible Agency under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources remains committed to creating and maintaining green and healthy spaces for a Greater Lagos.
She added that LASPARK as a responsible Agency under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources remains committed to creating and maintaining green and healthy spaces for a Greater Lagos.
It is the sincere hope of the Lagos State Government, that the controlled felling of the trees to give way to the road works will not rub the state of the socio-economic benefits of the new infrastructure, more so with the assurance that each felled tree will be replaced appropriately.