The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has cleared air on the reason for the demolition of some structures in Lagos as government has its laid down rules that, any structure encroaching on aviation land will be demolished nationwide.
This was disclosed in a statement on Tuesday by FAAN warning property owners and inhabitants of illegal structures to relocate from all airport lands to avoid such responses.
However, the airport authority and Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) has recently demolished 13 buildings in Ajao estate, Lagos over alleged encroachment.
FAAN thereby made it clear that similar move will be made across all other airports where aviation lands are encroached upon.
The Agency affirms that he removal of illegal structures is also scheduled to be carried out at all other airports that have similar challenges.”
It said, “The authority hereby uses this opportunity to advise all illegal occupants to relocate from all airport lands for their own safety and security.”
FAAN said the Murtala Mohammed Airport land was acquired for public use by the federal government through the Lands Acquisition Ordinance by FGN official gazettes in 1944, 1972, and 1975 respectively.
The airport authority said it had earlier set up a committee to investigate encroachment and compel culpable persons to desist.
“The committee thus put up ‘caveat emptors’ and positioned them strategically within the areas under encroachment,” FAAN said.
“Publications were done in national dailies and advertorial jingles in local radio stations, warning people of the risks in purchasing and building on restricted aviation land. These warnings were not heeded.”
The airport authority said some residents of Ajao estate came forward in 2008 for regularisation.
FAAN said the federal government inaugurated a committee that identified the properties located in positions that do not pose “direct and critical challenges” to airport safety and security.
According to the statement, a few of the residents, however, ignored successive warnings and erected structures in the red zones.
In 2022, FAAN’s regularisation committee presented a report stating that 254 encroaching buildings were evaluated.
At least 220 buildings were said to have been recommended for regularisation as they did not pose a critical threat to the airport.
The 34 others, FAAN stated, were marked for removal as they were built on the aviation fuel pipeline and waterways.