The Lagos State Government says it has reduced the cost to trespassers of the Lagos State University (LASU) land at Ojo by 67 percent.
Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule, made the disclosure at a stakeholders’ meeting on Thursday at Alausa, Ikeja.
Ambode said that by the directive, trespassers were now to pay N1.25 million instead of the initial N3.9 million.
The governor said the reduction followed a due process and the general state of the economy.
Besides, he said that the landlords would now be tenants to the state government instead of LASU authorities.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some 682 hectares of land belonging to LASU were encroached on by trespassers.
Ambode said the regularisation (new cost) would cover legal documents to the property.
He said that the decision was taken after series of meetings with the affected landlords through their Community Development Associations, (CDAs), Office of the Surveyor General, Lands Bureau, Lands Regularisation and other government agencies.
“’It was jointly concluded that each plot will now cost N1.25 million for regularisation, titles, and Certificate of Occupancy, considering the general state of the economy in the country,” he said.
Ambode added that his government granted the landlords’ demands of not wanting to be tenants to LASU anymore to put an end to the dispute and to make payment process flexible.
“’We assure you that the government will not demolish any single building in the area for contravention except for those that have deliberately built their houses inside LASU compound.
“’No government will allow private residential homes within an academic environment.
“You will be informed on the new timeline for the payment of the money as we are creating a seamless payment process that will not authorize payment through any agent for transparency.
“I’m appealing to you not to offer a bribe to any unsuspected dubious person who may pose as a government official, any landlord that pays through an agent is at his own risk,” he said.
Responding on behalf of the affected landlords, the Baale of Igbo Elerin, Chief Taofeek Oseni, lauded Ambode for his kindness to the poor.
“Many of us had thought that we would be forced to sell our properties by the time the state government comes out with the amount to be paid.
“We are happy with the new conditions, but with a plea that the government should also consider a further reduction for those with just half a plot of land,” Oseni said.