Home » Unfulfilled Promises: Lagos Shop Owners Seek Compensation for Demolitions

Unfulfilled Promises: Lagos Shop Owners Seek Compensation for Demolitions

by Victor Adetimilehin

Shop owners in Lagos State are raising their voices three years after their stores were demolished to make way for the expansion of the Ikotun Roundabout in Alimosho Local Government Area. The 2020 demolition affected over 90 shops in the complex, and now, these aggrieved business owners are demanding the compensation promised by state officials.


Before the demolition, the state government assured the shop owners that they would be compensated after the road construction. However, these assurances have yet to materialize. Shop owner Innocent Umeze, who lost two shops in the demolition, emphasized that each shop was valued at N3 million. He recounted how the Ministries of Transportation and Urban and Physical Planning issued notices before the demolition, promising compensation. Still, nothing has been done since then, leaving the affected shop owners in a state of uncertainty.


Kolawole Ademola, another shop owner, highlighted the importance of these shops as a means of livelihood for many owners who are now struggling to make ends meet. Despite being invited to Alausa secretariat before the demolition and witnessing the valuation of their shops, their pleas for compensation have gone unanswered. The unfulfilled promises have resulted in severe financial difficulties, with some owners forced to return to their villages and children dropping out of school.


A recent visit to the site revealed that the demolished structures remain untouched and unrepaired, leaving petty traders to occupy the vacant spaces. Uche Stephen, who owns three shops in the complex, noted that the premises had been handed over to evening market traders, who pay weekly levies.


The Ikotun/Igando council chairman, Lasisi Akinsanya, clarified that the local government was not responsible for the demolition, as it was carried out by the state government. The state government has been directly dealing with the affected shop owners through a committee that includes some of the shop owners.


When contacted, the state Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotosho, promised to gather updates on the situation. He mentioned that the project might have been executed by the Ministry of Transportation under the junction improvement program.


While the shop owners continue to seek justice and compensation for their losses, it remains a matter of concern and frustration for them that the promises made by the government have not been honored. However, they hold onto hope that their voices will be heard and that their demands for compensation will be met in the near future.


Source: [Punch]


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