Apparently piqued by continual incidents of collapse buildings in Lagos State, the Lagos State Government has stated that it is intensifying efforts to reduce the sad incidents of building collapse as the rainy season approaches. It said no effort would be spared in demolishing dilapidated buildings across the state.
Gbolahan Oki, the General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency, said this during the demolition of distressed buildings located at 17b, Odo Osun Street, Off Glover Street; and 20, Omididun Street, both on the Lagos Island on Sunday. A statement from the Assistant Director/Public Affairs, LASBCA, Gbadeyan Bello, titled ‘Building collapse: LABSCA, LASPPPA intensify preparations ahead of rains… Demolish more distressed buildings on Lagos Island, others’ said.
Oki said that the demolition exercise was done on Sunday because of traffic congestion and for ease of moving the demolition equipment by officials of the agency.
He recalled that occupants of the buildings had been served different notices since 2019, with a reminder notice sent to them two weeks ago to vacate the buildings in order not to continue to endanger their lives and those of their neighbours. The LABSCA boss stated, “We must begin to be very civil in our approach to issues, especially when it borders on human lives, by not waiting until the worst happens. “I find it very hard to believe that some people could still be pleading on behalf of occupants of these distressed buildings for more time from the government.”
He expressed the hope that Lagosians would soon begin to follow the appropriate process of pulling down distressed buildings on their own without waiting for government to spend taxpayer fund on mobilising equipment and human resources for building demolition. While saying that the demolition exercise would continue across different parts of the state, Oki advised Lagosians to always build safely and prioritise their individual as well as collective safety, saying such considerations remain the major way of averting incessant building collapse.
Also speaking during the demolition exercise, Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority District Officer for Lagos Island, Yemisi Alaka, said that the demolition exercise was in continuation of the exercise started by both LASBCA and LASPPPA some weeks ago. She explained that LABSCA had earlier identified several distressed buildings across the state for demolition following a survey carried out by the agency and the reports and information received from members of the public.
She stated that the State Government had identified some buildings that were about to give way; so, rather than leaving the buildings to cause havoc, the identified buildings were marked for demolition by the agency to avert the tragedy of loss of lives when the rains start. She expressed concerns that people were still living in the identified buildings in spite of warnings earlier issued and abatement notices served the occupants. This, she said, informed the decision of LABSCA in collaboration with LASPPPA to pull down such buildings.