Many Homeowners in several Ogun state and Lagos communities are facing threats of demolition of their property by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) on account of wrongful building on TCN’s Right of Ways (RoWs). The affected communities include Papalanto, Ibogun, Ogijo, Sagamu in Ogun State and Badagry (Lagos State)
The structures under power lines, it was learnt, are believed to be frustrating efforts made by the TCN to build power lines and sub-stations, which would help in transmitting electricity from Olorunsogo Power Plant to residents of the communities. Olorunsogo Gas Turbine Plant has an installed capacity of 335 megawatts (Mw) of electricity and is located 17 kilometers to Papalanto in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State. The plant is yet to produce at its optimal level, thus affecting the socio-economic activities in the affected communities, an investigation by The Nation revealed.
TCN’s General Manager (Public Affairs), Mrs Ndidi Mbah, said that the company was working to improve the conditions of the people and that modalities had been fashioned out on how to compensate the communities. She said that property owners had been asked to compile and submit their names and account numbers, so as to enable the agency to pay them. According to her, the Federal Government is working to meet the energy needs of its people, as it has built power plants, sub-stations and imported transmission equipment into the country. For the government to achieve its goal of improving electricity generation, distribution and transmission, the equipment and facilities must be put to use, and that can be achieved when Nigerians are able to co-operate with the government
The TCN, she said, has landed properties across the country in order to realise its goal of improving electricity supply nationwide, warning that communities should desist from encroaching on the Right of Ways of the government, or its agencies and that the TCN will only demolish buildings in its right of way. She also added that the government is not out to witch-hunt Nigerians but rather to improve supply nationwide.
Also, an official of Adefila &Partners, a firm of Estate valuers hired by the communities to ensure payment of compensations by the government, Dapo Olanipekun, said the government should follow due diligence whenever it comes to demolition of properties that are built on its Right of Ways and subsequent payment to the victims. He said the constitution is explicit on issues such as land usage, Right of Ways and others, adding that the Federal Government has a considerable level of control over lands. “The project is massive and requires due diligence, which the Federal Government and Japan International Energy Cooperation (JICA) have given it”. “I strongly believe that the government would pay compensation, therefore, the communities need to exercise patience,’’ he said.