Posted by Timige, On 30 Oct, 2023 | Updated On 30 Oct, 2023 No Comments »
Some traders and business owners whose shops were demolished for the expansion of the Ikotun Roundabout in the Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State have cried out for help.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the demolition was carried out in 2020 with over 90 shops in the complex affected.
The officials of the state government were said to have approached the owners of the shops before the demolition, while they promised to compensate them after the road construction.
The aggrieved shop owners who spoke to our correspondent on Saturday said the state government had yet to fulfil its promise.
A trader, Innocent Umeze, who owned two shops among the demolished structures, said each of the shops was valued at N3m each.
He said, “The state government through the Ministries of Transportation and Urban and Physical Planning issued a notice before the demolition. They approached us and came with the developers who built the shops and told us they wanted to expand the road. They assured us that we would be duly compensated after the exercise. Our shops were valued at N3m each before the demolition. After then, nothing has been done till now. Some shops were destroyed in the area during the #EndSARS protest that took place later that year and the state government was quick to renovate them, but we have yet to get compensated for the demolition of our own shops which they promised to.”
Another shop owner, Kolawole Ademola, said the shops were a means of livelihood to some of the owners who now struggle to earn a living after the demolition.
“We were invited to Alausa secretariat before the demolition and the state government promised us heaven and earth. They also came to the place to value the shops. After the demolition, we wrote some letters asking them to fulfil their promise but we did not get any response. It was in the process that they requested our allocation papers and account numbers but nothing came out of it.
“The shops were a means of livelihood for some of the owners. But since they failed to fulfil their own part of the bargain, they have been struggling to live. Some of their children have dropped out of school as a result. Some of them had been forced to return back to their villages,” he said.
During a visit to the place on Saturday, our correspondent observed that the demolished structures had been left the same way they were since then.
The shops which were yet to be renovated have since been occupied by petty traders.
Speaking on the development, Uche Stephen, who owns three shops in the complex, said, “The premises of the demolished complex had been given to traders who sell market there in the evening while they collect some levies from them on a weekly basis.”
The Ikotun/Igando council chairman, Lasisi Akinsanya, while reflecting on the matter said the council was no longer involved in the process relating to the compensation of the victims.
He said, “It was not the local government that demolished the shops, it was the state government. And that is why the state government is dealing directly with them. There is a committee set up which includes some of the shop owners.”
When contacted, the state Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotosho, promised to get updates on the development.
“I suspect the project was carried out by the Ministry of Transportation under the junction improvement programme. I will find out tomorrow,” he said.
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