Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has issued an executive order to create a building control authority, which among other things, makes it mandatory to provide adequate fire exit and escape routes in commercial and public buildings in the states.
The executive order which also provides for the installation of smoke alarms in government estates of multiple dwellings; road construction with pedestrian highways, clearing of drainage, is to ensure adherence to minimum safety standard in project execution in the face of the ongoing infrastructure developments across the state.
In a keynote address at a recent seminar organised for local and foreign contractors, and some professional bodies, by the ministry of special duties, Fashola who was represented by the Commissioner for Rural Development, Mr. Lanre Balogun, noted the important position contractors occupy in ensuring safety in the building sector and the need to pro-actively respond to the challenges confronting the state due to the ongoing transformations in infrastructure development.
â€œThere is the need to find ways to incorporate the approach in health and safety into design and implementation of infrastructure projects. This is to safeguard public safety and the well-being of our people,â€ he said.
Fashola noted that the Ijegun fire disaster, where a contractor constructing a road mistakenly tampered with the pipeline underground, would have been averted if the contractor involved in the road construction had information about the risk factor associated with the underground pipeline network in the area.
The governor lamented that people concerned have not being complying with the provision of the building code which specifies that provisions should be made for fire escape points in certain category of buildings.
In his contribution, the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Tola Kasali, asserted that the state government was committed to spearheading the issue of safety in all developmental activities in the state.
â€œThe task of transforming Lagos into a befitting mega city starts with renewing or upgrading of facilities and, in so doing, a lot of human activities will be involved in project design and execution, meaning that the issue of health, safety and environment must be of paramount concern to all the stakeholders, especially, the contractors,â€ he said.