Lagos: Conversion of school sports fields to bonded terminal continues despite order
Months after Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, condemned landowners in Ijegun, Amuwo-Odofin council area for selling plots of land used for bonded terminals and tank farms in a residential area, a school complex in Mile 2 area, in the same local government area, has been converted to a bonded terminal.
While on a visit to the site of the Soba explosion recently, a resident had asked Sanwo-Olu when the illegal tank farms around Ijegun would be shut to prevent another calamity, as witnessed in Soba. The governor had argued that those who sold the land to those who built the tank farms should be held responsible, not the government.
Surprisingly, about a month after that comment, the Mile 2 School complex, housing eight secondary schools – Imoye High and Junior Schools, Odofin Junior and Senior Secondary Schools, Amuwo Odofin Junior and Senior Secondary Schools and Amuwo Odofin Junior and Senior High Schools, has been converted to a bonded terminal.
Two months before construction of the bonded terminal on the schools’ sport field, the state government had reclaimed a section of the complex from some illegal occupants. Before the Environmental Taskforce cleared the spot, the spot was partitioned and used by miscreants, members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) and the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) for different purposes.
Though schools are on break, they would have to contend with many crises when they resume. This time round, apart from losing their school farm and sport field, they would contend with easy access to their schools.
Access gate to the four schools has been blocked, while three of the schools would need alternative gates to enter their schools.
Residents are also concerned, as they said the bonded terminal would compound the traffic gridlock on the Alakija-Mile 2 axis. They said the conversion of plots of land within Mile 2 into bonded terminals and jetties through the canal to Apapa has increased the fleet of articulated vehicle on that route with many of these trucks obstructing other road users.
A column on the service lane from Alakija to Mile 2 has been permanently converted to a parting lot by trucks and tankers with other motorists driving on the second column.
About a month ago, the attention of the state government was drawn to the conversion of the school complex to bonded terminals in a report, with all building regulatory agencies claiming that the conversion was illegal.
The Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, promised to look into it. When she was called to provide update yesterday, she claimed she had the file on the issue and was still looking into it.