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Building collapse: Lagos to prosecute owners

By Yinka Kolawole

* To demolish 293 buildings

The Lagos State Government is planning to prosecute owners of collapsed buildings as part of measures to curtail incidents of building collapse in the state.
Governor Babatunde Fashola lamented the increasing rate of collapsed buildings in the state at a recent one_day workshop on disaster management in Lagos, where he issued the warning.

Represented by the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Tola Kasali, the Governor stated:  “Owners of such buildings are to forfeit such property to the state government in addition to possible prosecution if they refuse to comply with government’s directives, building regulations and town planning laws.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the state government’s policy on forfeiture of collapsed property has been in force and we will continue to enforce it to serve as a deterrent to unscrupulous property developers.”
He asserted that potential emergency and disaster situations must be tackled decisively and quickly too.

“We are all witnesses to the near_permanent menace which the petrol tankers and other trailers have become on Lagos roads. Fire incidents and needless road traffic jams and accidents are two of the major problems that frequently occur from the gridlock often caused by their activities.
“Industrial fires, pipeline explosions, building collapse, flood and sundry others are some of the most worrisome of the daunting challenges, which confront us as we continue our determined journey into our dream status as a model mega_city,” he stated.

In a related development, the Lagos State government has indicated that over 293 defective buildings in the metropolis would soon be demolished.
This follows the collapse of a building last week, in Lagos Island which left five people seriously wounded, and coming about 12 days after the collapse of a storey building in Iddo area of Lagos State which killed about thirteen people.

Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Abosede Francesco, noted that the incessant occurrence of building collapse in the state is giving the state government a lot of concern.
He said that a policy paper is presently before the  House of Assembly which will lay the groundwork for pulling down all defective  buildings.
Francesco noted that of the nearly 5,000 houses previously tested by the state government, 293 have been found to be structurally defective and hazardous to occupants, adding that some houses obstruct drainage, leading to flooding in such areas.

According to him, 13 houses will be demolished on Lagos Island, 103 in Ajeromi_Ifelodun Local Government while 77 houses will go in Somolu_Kosofe local councils.
He said the state government had already written letters to owners  of the affected buildings on the need to take down the structures.


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