All unauthorized inhabitants of airport grounds have been warned by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria to leave the area for their own safety and security.
The operations of Lagos State’s Murtala Muhammed International Airport, according to a statement released on Tuesday by the General Manager of Corporate Affairs Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, are at risk due to the 13 homes that were recently demolished.
According to her, “stop work” markers and the installation of notice boards within the Red Zone were used to properly notify the residents of these buildings of the upcoming demolitions and extensive awareness campaigns.
“FAAN wrote to LASG in September 2022 to request their assistance in executing this exercise in the interest of aviation and communal safety and security.
Hope-Ivbaze went on to say that the property that is currently home to the airport was purchased by the federal government for public use under the lands acquisition ordinance by the official gazettes of the government in 1944, 1972, and 1975, respectively.
She said that in 2000, after FAAN discovered some encroachments on its newly acquired land, a committee was formed to look into them and give advice to those responsible to stop doing so.
She said that the committee’s task was to identify and regularize only those properties that were situated in a way that did not directly and seriously jeopardize airport safety and security.
“The current administration inaugurated a regularization committee on FAAN encroached lands and property as soon as it took office in order to prevent a situation of willful destruction and enormous losses.
The FAAN Directorates of Airport Operations and Aviation Security started stakeholder engagements and met with the residents of the Ajao axis several times (all meetings were recorded and filed), warning them about the risks of building homes near pipelines, waterways, and the airport’s perimeter fence (which would prevent security patrols from accessing them).
With the exception of a few, most people complied, yet some persisted in building in the red zone.
According to Hope-Ivbaze, out of 254 buildings reviewed, 220 were recommended for regularization because they don’t directly or significantly threaten the airport’s security or safety.
The 34 additional structures, which were largely erected above the aviation fuel pipeline and waterways and within the FAAN perimeter fence, and which obviously posed immediate safety and security concerns to the airport, as well as to their owners and occupants, were designated for demolition, she continued.