Demolished Houses At Ajao Estate Posed Danger To Lagos Airport – FAAN
The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has broken silence over the recent demolition of 13 houses which it said were posing grave dangers to the operations of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
FAAN, in a statement on Tuesday, said the area of land presently housing the Murtala Mohammed International Airport was acquired for public use by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Lands Acquisition Ordinance by FGN Official Gazettes in 1944, 1972, and 1975 respectively.
The statement was signed by the Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Faithful A. Hope-Ivbaze.
It read in part, “Sometimes in the year 2000, the Authority noticed some encroachments within its acquired land in Lagos and a committee was set up to investigate and compel those encroaching to cease and desist from such actions.
“The committee thus put up “Caveat Emptors” and positioned them strategically within the areas under encroachment( they are still in place). 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 without consideration to the direct dangers on aircraft operations and the building occupants themselves. These warnings were not heeded.
“In 2008, some residents of Ajao axis of the encroached land, under the aegis of “Runview Cooperative” approached the Authority for regularisation of their stay on the land.
“To avoid a situation of wanton damage and colossal losses, the present administration on assuming office, inaugurated a “Regularization Committee on FAAN Encroached Lands and Property “. The committee was charged with finding ways of identifying and regularizing only those properties located in positions that do not pose a direct and critical challenge to airport safety and Security.
“The FAAN directorates of Airport Operations and Aviation security commenced stakeholders’ engagements and met severally with the residents of the Ajao axis( all meetings recorded and filed) bringing to their knowledge the dangers of erecting houses on pipelines, waterways and the airport’s perimeter fence( blocking access for security patrols). Most of the residents cooperated, except for the few who ignored and continued erecting their structures in the “RED ZONES”.
“In the committee’s report submitted in 2022, out of 254 buildings evaluated, 220 buildings were recommended for regularisation, as they pose no direct/critical security and safety challenges to the Airport.”