Abandoned Fed Govt’s assetsIn Ikoyi And Other Places worries Okunnu
ONE-TIME Federal Commissioner for Works & Housing, Alhaji Femi Okunnu, yesterday expressed concern over the state of the former Federal Secretariat in Ikoyi and other abandoned Federal Government assets in Lagos State.
Okunnu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) spoke at the Lagos House in Ikeja where he presented the report of a Special Committee set up by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Federal Government Assets in Lagos, the nation’s erstwhile capital.
According to him, Ikoyi, Banana Island, Osborne Foreshore, Festac Town, Satellite Town and Trade Fair among other areas, belonged to the Lagos State Government.
Okunnu, who informed that the title of the lands were vested in the state governor, said the issue of the Federal Secretariat in Ikoyi was particularly saddening to him, as the edifice was built under his watch as Federal Commissioner for Works & Housing
He said: “Federal Secretariat gives me sadness because I built it when I was the Federal Commissioner for Works. The land upon which the secretariat is situated is part of the Crown land now State land. The title is vested in Lagos State but when Brig.-Gen. Mobolaji Jonhson was the military governor, he agreed to release that land to the Federal Government when they wanted to build Federal Secretariat.
“Today, I don’t like to pass through that side because it gives me sadness anytime I see it in its current state.
“It is not only the quarters but the land on which many of these buildings in the areas are built. In our committee, we have tried to argue that the whole of Ikoyi with the boundary at Lagos Canal, standing between Ikoyi Island and Lagos Island, the title to the whole of the island is vested in the government of Lagos State when Lagos became a Crown Colony. The whole of Ikoyi, including Osborne Foreshore, Banana Island and others, belong to the state government.” Okunnu said.
He maintained that the title to the sprawling Festac Town is vested in the state government and that the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and Trade Fair remained tenants to the government.
Okunnu said: “The Lagos state government acquired the land of the Trade Fair site but the Federal Government took over the land and gave a promise to pay the state compensation which was to be paid to the original owners of the land but that compensation was not paid. Today, the Trade Fair has been turned into a market far from the original purpose intended.
“Satellite Town too is vested in Lagos State. It is the Federal Government which should prove title to any land which it claims to own in Lagos State, but I will like to urge the Federal Government to return the lands to the State Government.”