Lagos starts checking Oko Baba sawmills before they move | The Guardian Nigeria News

Lagos State Government has started a stakeholder and potential beneficiary verification exercise for the relocation of Oko-Baba Saw millers to a purpose built facility, Timberville, Owu to Ikosi in early 2022.

Planning and Urban Development Commissioner Dr Idris Salako, who spoke at the forum, said the government was determined to relocate the sawmills and would spare no effort to ensure the proper execution of the initiative.

The verification exercise, which is to help the government update the list of stakeholders and ensure their readiness for the expected movement, began on Monday and would end on Thursday, December 16, 2021.

Salako said the verification exercise is designed to update the list of stakeholders and determine their levels of readiness for the planned move.

He added that to facilitate the move, the government had put in place the necessary basic equipment and a conducive working environment with functional accessibility to the new location as well as adequate power and security in and around the operational area. of Timberville.

According to him, the government is committed to the relocation of sawmills to protect the environment and create a more favorable and desirable place for commercial activity.

“There is no denying that we have since accepted that the current location of your sawmill on the Ebute-Metta waterfront, commonly known as Okobaba, is no longer sustainable for the company, given the enormous environmental cost which is unimaginable and unforgivable at this time and age, ”he said.

Salako noted that some of the environmental impacts include water and air pollution, carbon emissions, destruction of aquatic resources and creation of rust and others.

The commissioner further revealed that the state government’s vision is to take advantage of the Oko-Baba sawmill’s status as the largest in the country and ultimately turn Timberville, Agbowa into a major agricultural processing area. and a value-added hub for lumber and construction. industry within the Ikorodu-Epe sub-region of the state, while leveraging public-private collaboration.

For her part, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Spatial Planning and Urban Development, Abiola Kosegbe, noted that the government had drawn up a phased implementation plan for the relocation of Operation Oko-baba to Timberville. , part of which was the introduction of the sawyers’ strategic documentation.

She added that the documentation was aimed at achieving a smooth movement from Okobaba to Timberville through a model that would allow large sawyers to be selected in the first place for immediate space allocation, including saw sheds. tape, sales offices and auxiliary sheds. for displaying finished wood products.

The Governor’s Special Adviser for Urban Development, Ganiyu Adele Ayuba and the Governor’s Special Adviser for E-GIS and Physical Planning, Dr Olajide Babatunde urged the sawyers to cooperate with the government throughout the phases of the relocation, in particular the ongoing verification exercise. .

Elizabeth J. Harless