The Lagos State Government on Wednesday appealed for understanding and patience of residents over removal of trees and green areas for road rehabilitation and urban regeneration works in Ikoyi.
The government made the appeal in a statement, jointly signed by Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, and General Manager, Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), Mrs Adetoun Popoola.
The special adviser to the governor said that four roads each were selected in Ikeja, Ikoyi and Victoria Island as pilot for upgrade under the State Urban Regeneration Initiative.
Adeyoye said that the construction works on the road projects, in line with International best practices, were preceded by stakeholder engagements.
According to her, all the participants or attendees are taken through the scope, methodology, potential impact and mitigation of the individual and collective projects.
She said government had started road expansion and drainage projects in parts of Ikoyi to improve the infrastructure and curb flooding.
“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,” the special adviser said.
Adeyoye acknowledged the support of Victoria Island and Ikoyi Residents Association (VIIRA), who were the anchors at a stakeholders meeting.
She reassured the residents of government’s concerns about the felling of trees, particularly those on the Right of Way of the projects.
The special adviser said that urban renewal and flood control in the Ikoyi area was necessary.
The General Manager, LASPARK, Adetoun Popoola quoted laws that empowered the agency to supervise and grant permit for the felling of trees.
“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.
“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 and Infrastructure,” she said.
Popoola assured that each felled tree from the Right of Way would be replaced with five, in line with laws guiding the agency.
“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,” she said.
The General Manager said the agency had two well-equipped nurseries where tree seedlings were propagated to ensure seamless restoration wherever necessary.
She said that LASPARK, as a responsible agency under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, was committed to creating and maintaining green and healthy spaces for a Greater Lagos.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Oluwole Sogunle