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For being a commercial nerve centre of Lagos with breath-taking mixed-use and iconic developments, Oniru which spans Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki, is out with ambitious initiatives to transform the current estate into the most sought after neighbourhood to live, work and play.
The new leadership in the kingdom under Oba Omogbolahan Lawal (Abisogun 11) says it is committed to leading large-scale change by inspiring climate leadership and deepening social inclusion for more sustainable livelihoods.
The leadership has a vision that covers the environment and will entail tackling climate change and evolving environmental-friendly initiatives such as recycling. The vision also has to do with Health.
“As we would notice, there is no public health facility in this neighbourhood,” noted Oba Lawal in his opening remarks at a two-day town hall meeting in the kingdom at the weekend, adding that power and sustainable livelihoods would also be addressed.
As a major commercial hub and residential destination in Lagos, Oniru has a fair share of environmental and infrastructure challenges which many business ownes in the neighbourhood have complained of how these are negatively impacting on their business.
But, the new transformation agenda, according to the Oba, would address these issues including drainages and street lighting. It would also address issues of AgricEnterprise Opportunities and Grants amongst others, for which he has solicited help from the Lagos State government.
The Oba explained that the reason for the Town Hall meeting was because he has always tried to avoid the predict-and-provide theory or syndrome in all the leadership positions he had occupied.
“Accordingly, before I embark on any vision, design any policy, execute any programme or implement a project, I ensure stakeholders’ feedback is sought. This is to ensure stakeholder engagement is integrated into the process, he said.
For this reason too, he explained, he had brought on board two major consultants, BA Law and Gbenga Olaniyan and Associates (Estatelinks) as solicitors and development consultants respectively to ensure that all issues relating to Iru Land were handled professionally going forward.
In his presentation at the meeting, Olaniyan, Estatelinks’ CEO, gave further insights into the Oniru transformation agenda driven by what the Oba has termed Let’s Grow Iru Together (LEGIT) Vision.
He disclosed that the consultants were reviewing the entire estate from a topographical and distribution viewpoint to reduce flooding and improve the roads infrastructure in the neighbourhood, adding that they were also taking stock of the power demand in the estate even as various power operators were already sending in proposals.
“Safety of lives and property is key. Best practices in other estates worldwide are being critically reviewed to activate the best model for Oniru Estate,” Olaniyan assured, adding, “it has been noticed that a lot of developments have flouted simple planning regulations.”
According to him, this has affected the estate’s physical planning control and also created discomfort for neighbours and defaced the estate. “Consultations are on-going for improved and enforceable regulations for the benefit of all,” he assured.
He informed that there would be an update of land titles, explaining that data on title documentations/deeds were to be centrally collated at the Central Estate Management office. He added that ease of payment of ground rent and development levy would be introduced.
To bring sanity into the environment, Olaniyan disclosed that traffic control and road management strategy would be put in place. “Traffic flow strategy will be created to remove bottlenecks such as the entry into the estate from the New Market and Ozumba Mbadiwe,” he said, adding, “separate weekend arrangements are to be made for waterfront event centre zone and the alternative access road.”
The transformation also includes making the estate technology-compliant and, according to Olaniyan, plans were underway to engage service providers for broadband internet services within the estate just as efforts were being made to create an eco- and family-friendly environment.
“The Oniru waterfront is set for change; we must create a healthy, family-friendly environment for all. A tree planting campaign will be commenced by the Oba in September 2020,” he revealed
Among other things, the transformation agenda would also include beautification of the environment that would involve tree planting, shanty disengagement, town planning, market restructuring, and banning of road-side sales and street hawking.