Lagos Set Up Taskforce Over Inappropriately Located Events Centres | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Lagos Set Up Taskforce Over Inappropriately Located Events Centres

event centres; taskforce
Posted: Sep 21, 2016 at 8:20 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

It will no longer be business as usual for operators of event centres in Lagos State as the state government has set up a taskforce to identify any events centre that was developed without due approval.

Presently the government is taking inventory on them to ascertain their relevance in the physical development plan of the state.

The state’s Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Wasiu Anifowoshe disclosed that the taskforce would wrap up its activities in three months, after which the government will begin to take the necessary actions against defaulting events centres.

“Throughout Lagos State if there is no development permit for any structure, event centers inclusive, it is illegal to start with. Fine, we have so many, but we are taking inventory of them now. Anyone that builds event centre in a place that is not conducive, the government will shut it down.

“We will ask them to come and remove it or we remove it for them. We have been warning them. Before you can have an event centre, apply and investigate to know if it is conducive and if it won’t disturb the neighbourhood. Does it generate noise pollution, what are the environmental impact and all that? If it is going to disturb the citizens of Lagos State, we won’t allow it.

We are on it. We have set up a committee. There is a taskforce working with the commissioner. What we are doing right now is houses under high-tension wires. I gave them three months. This is our first month. They will make recommendations from their findings of the ones that deserve to stay and the ones that deserve to go”, he said

The Commissioner noted that the government has set guidelines to be followed in siting event centres in the state. These include enough parking spaces, fire protection gadgets, it must be far away from residences and there must be adequate plan for emergency response, among other things.

It would be recalled that last year, Independent Newspapers reported the menace of these events centres and the hardship they inflict on road users.

Independent then drew the attention of the then General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, Mrs. Abimbola Animashaun, who referred her to office of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) as she was not in town to attend to the matter, but promising to call back, which she never did.

However, the then LASTMA public relations officer, Bola Ajao who spoke to Independent on behalf of the agency as the Managing Director was out of town, noted that the agency has been trying its best to bring about sanity on Lagos roads, by drafting their officers to such sites but also promises to intensify their efforts.

She said: “We have always made it clear to events centre owners that any area outside the perimeter of their premises belongs to the government and hence should not be used as parking space. Some people cannot be enjoying inside the events hall while at the same time subjecting others to traffic hardship outside.

“We have been appealing to them to manage their guests properly and not extend their activities beyond their premises by using the roads and walkways as parking space for their guests. On several occasion we have had to enforce the law by sanctioning and towing away vehicles.

“If informed ahead of time, we work with the centres to control the vehicular movements around such areas. It is part of our service delivery and we do not charge a dime for such services. It is ironical to know that some events centres go ahead to charge their customers LASTMA fees which is not in any way remitted to LASTMA account”, she said

Ajao then informed Independent that should they be charging fees for the services, they would lack the moral courage to tow away vehicles in the event of a default. It is part of our corporate social responsibilities. Schools, churches and other organizations have been applying to us at no cost, she said.