Members of the LASU communities whose lands fell on government acquisition have finally heaved a sigh of relief as Governor Akinwunmi Ambode told them today at a stakeholders meeting that his administration considered the general state of the economy and had reduced many charges they would have paid for the repurchase of the disputed lands by 67%.
Represented by his deputy, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, the governor disclosed that after series of meetings with the affected landlords through their Community Development Associations, (CDAs) Office of the Surveyor General, Lands Bureau, Lands Regularization and other government agencies, land valuers were invited to value the land and it was jointly concluded in the report submitted by the committee that each plot would cost as much as N3.9m for regularization, titles and Certificate of Occupancy.
However, considering the general state of the economy in the country, Ambode disclosed that he had directed all agencies on lands regularization particularly on the affected LASU matters to reduce the total cost on every plot of affected lands by 67%, meaning that the total cost to be paid by landlords on every plot of land from survey to regularization and the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) has been reduced from N3.9m earlier agreed on to N1.25m, adding that his government was known for always considering public interest in every situation.
In addition, Ambode told the jubilant stakeholders that his government had also granted their two other demands. These demands by the stakeholders according to the governor included not wanting to be tenants to LASU anymore, but the Lagos State government, that there should be an end to the annual payments they made to the Lagos State University (LASU) while the process for the payment by the landlords should be considerate and flexible.
The governor while granting all the requests, stated that the state government had not only reduced the money to be paid including the process of C of O to N1.25m, he reassured them that his government would not demolish any single building in the area for contravention except for those that have deliberately built their houses inside LASU compound, stressing that no government would allow private residential homes within an academic environment.
‘’We have agreed that we will not demolish any building except those who deliberately went into LASU compound to build their houses, on that, no government would allow residential building within an academic environment, it may be too dangerous to allow this to hold,” the governor stated.
While informing the affected landlords that there would be new time line for the payment of the newly approved money to the government coffers, he warned them from offering bribe to any unsuspected dubious person who may pose as government official, adding that the state government has created a seamless payment process and would not authorize payment through any agent for transparency, adding that any landlord that pays through any agent is at his own risk.
While responding on behalf of other affected stakeholders, Baale of Igbo Elerin, Chief Taofeek Oseni Commended governor Ambode for his kindness and consideration for the poor in his all inclusive government.
He said his people would ever remain grateful to his administration, adding that many of them had thought they would be forced to sell their properties by the time the state government came out with the amount to be paid. He said they were all happy with the new conditions only with a plea that government should also consider a further reduction for those with just half plots of land.
The meeting was well attended by the Surveyor General of the state, Ambode’s Adviser on education Obafela Bank Olemoh, LASU Vice Chancellor, Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun, top government functionaries, traditional rulers, representatives of various CDAs and CDCs among others.