The Lagos government has inaugurated resettlement committees for the Epe Lagoon and Lekki Coastal communities affected by the on-going Lekki Free Zone (LFTZ) project.
The resettlement committees was established by the Lagos state government to plan, design, monitor and evaluate the resettlement of individuals and families that may be affected by the Lekki Free Zone project.
Lola Akande, the state commissioner for Commerce, Industry, and Cooperatives, said the primary function of the committee is to set out the “content and process’’ for resettling and compensating affected individuals and families within the host community.
According to Akande, the committees will work in strict compliance with the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to mitigate any maladministration of the resettlement land.
“Importantly, unauthorised land sales are prohibited and this will attract legal sanction for individuals found complicit in the practice,” stated Akande.
The resettlement committee members according to the commissioner, are to serve for a period of two years and to take up roles set out for them in the MoU.
The committees among others, are to serve as the primary point of contact between members of the communities and the state government for all enquiries relating to the project and necessary requests. “Mediation and resolution of disputes among members and communities,” she said.
Akande stated further that operational directives will be developed by each of the resettlement committee, which will be submitted to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives for effective communication and guidance.
It should be noted that the existing bank account operated by the previous community associations whose tenure expired since November 2019 will cease to exist. A new bank account is to be opened for the resettlement committee to enable them to start on a clean slate.
Furthermore, the signatories to the account will be the chairman, who is the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, the vice chairman from each of the resettlement committees and treasurer. They are to hold-fort on behalf of Lagos State government.
According to the commissioner, the resettlement committees are expected to provide a timetable of activities within the first three months of their inauguration, stating that all provisions of the MoU should be strictly adhered to in order to prevent the fundamental misapplication of roles and function of the respective institutions.