The Lagos State government has begun the payment of compensation to owners of properties that gave way for Right of Way (RoW) for the various construction works across the state. Over N6 billion has been earmarked for the payment, which is being handled by the state’s Land Bureau at Alausa in Ikeja, the state capital.
The exercise, which started last Friday at the Land Bureau office, will run till May 11 at Alausa before it returns to various zones in the state for continuation.
When our correspondent visited the venue of the exercise, over 100,000 recipients were seen sitting peacefully as they awaited their turns for the verification.
For instance, Mr. Oluwakemi Olanrewaju, a beneficiary, said the process had been transparent and “everything has been alright”.
Explaining the process, Olanrewaju said upon the verification of the required documents, an official writes the amount to be paid on a piece of paper for the recipient secretly and then the recipient is told to expect credit alert within a few days.
According to him, the money is paid directly into the individual account.
He said: “I am very happy with the process. I thank Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for what he has done for us. The process is very easy; there is no inconvenience for anybody here. The officials have taken care of us very well and even provided us with refreshment. This is the first of its kind that I am seeing from any government. You don’t need to have any connection before they attend to you and nobody has asked us for any form of gratification.”
Olanrewaju, whose house on Ishawo Road in Ikorodu Local Government Area was affected by the construction, said although it cost more than he was given as compensation, yet he was satisfied with the gesture because of the sincerity of the administration.
He added: “It is better than getting nothing; at least, this government has not left us out in the cold or rendered us homeless and hopeless. So, I am happy.”
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Urban Development, Mrs. Yetunde Onabule, said over N5 billion will be disbursed.
The governor’s aide noted that once the requirement has been met, the payment is as good as done.
She said: “All we need is to confirm that you are the authentic owner of the property. We use your bank BVN number also for identification.”
Mrs Onabule said Governor Ambode is concerned about the rightful owner getting his dues.
She said the compensation list was long.
At Pen Cinema in Agege, over 167 properties had been enumerated; at Ishawo Road in Ikorodu, over 600 properties were enumerated and on Murtala Mohammed Way in Ebute Meta, over 500 properties had been enumerated.
Mrs Onabule noted that to arrive at the amount to be paid to individuals, the government involved members of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), including its land and field officers in the Lands Bureau, to assist it.
She said: “Compensation is an ongoing exercise and we will continue to pay compensation for any property we acquire. Even people that do not have registered title documents on their properties are getting compensating. That is the directive of the governor, because he doesn’t want anybody to be rendered homeless.”
The Permanent Secretary for Lands Bureau, Bode Agoro, said the money for the payment of compensation had been approved and saved in a bank.
He urged claimants to be patient, adding that everybody wouldbe paid because the money is available.