Building collapse: Lagos seals 500 fresh distressed buildings

By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsuru Olowoopejo

Lagos — THE Lagos State Government has identified over 500 new distressed and abandoned buildings that could collapse any moment in the state.

Meantime, the state Government yesterday, explained reasons for the continued delay in the release of report on the five-storey building which collapsed at Lekki Gardens, in Eti-Osa Local Government.

Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Abiola Anifowoshe, who disclosed these at the on-going ministerial press briefing in Alausa, Ikeja, in commemoration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s first year in office, said the discovery was one of the measures adopted by the government to check the incidence of building collapse in the state.

Anifowoshe said; “We have identified over 500 distressed and abandoned buildings. We have identified them and we have evacuated the occupants. The buildings we have identified were the ones we know are dangerous for habitation.

“The marking of the buildings is ongoing. We went round the state to identify distressed buildings. Very soon, we will release another list of distressed buildings in the state.

“We have sealed the buildings and issued three months ultimatum to their owners to take possession or be ready to face the wrath of the law,” he added.

The commissioner lamented, “It cost the government huge amount of money to pull down any building. That was why we have decided to embark on the exercise in phases.” Anifowoshe said other measures adopted by the government to curb collapse of buildings were: “Compulsory integrity test of building and construction materials in conjunction with the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory.

“Identification and removal of distressed/dilapidated buildings, Removal of illegal and non-conforming buildings, inspections and certification of various stages of building construction and evaluation of on-going and completed projects,” he added.

Lekki Gardens’ report
On the update on Lekki Gardens report, the commissioner said: “We are waiting for the report of the Nigerian Police on the collapsed Lekki Gardens building. When they complete their report, the police will submit their report to the state government through the State Ministry of Justice. The ministry will then advise the state government on the best step to be taken. At the moment, we cannot dabble into the ongoing investigation by the police.”

Introduces e-planning permit
In order to keep up with the pace of the transformation in service delivery and e-governance policy as well as embrace global best practices in the way of doing business, the Lagos State Government has introduced the e-Planning Permit platform in order to accelerate Planning Permit processing in the State. The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, TLP Wasiu Anifowoshe disclosed the Ministerial Press briefing.

He emphasised that with this development, application for planning permit by Lagosians can now be made on-line irrespective of their location, adding that the online permit system also allows users to upload design drawings and other prerequisites.

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