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Building collapse: Assembly to go after regulatory agencies

All regulatory agencies in charge of monitoring construction of buildings in the state would now be kept on their toes to guard against incessant cases of building collapse.

The Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA) Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development on Monday disclosed this to newsmen on Monday.

The Committee’s Chairman, Mr Setonji David, said this against the backdrop of the collapse of two different three-storey buildings on May 18, 2017 and May 29, 2017, respectively.

Five people lost their lives in the incidents.

Similarly, on March 9, 2016, at least 34 people died when a five-storey building still under construction collapsed in Lekki Area of Lagos State.

David said that the level of sensitisation and monitoring of buildings under construction had increased under Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration to curb the menace.

He said: “Since the assumption of office by Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, the level of compliance by developers has changed; though there is still room for improvement.

“Government is a continuum; and the government is reorganising its agencies responsible for monitoring building constructions to be more effective in service delivery.

“So, things are getting better. Building collapse will end soon in the state,’’ he said.

The lawmaker also attributed the development to the high rate of influx of people into Lagos State.

“ But, what we have on ground at present is better than what we had in the past.

“Then, buildings used to collapse, but they were never reported.

“Because of our current level of development with the knowledge and use of the social media, if anything happens in Ikeja now, it will be reported immediately.

“So, things are getting better and the rate of monitoring is improving. We are putting every regulatory agency on its toes so that they will not rest on their oars.’’

The lawmaker said that he was always holding regular meetings with the officials from the Ministry of Physical Development and Urban Development.

“This is to ensure that whatever they do is in concert with the laws passed by LAHA.

“ The ministry is adhering to our rules and we are on top of the situation,’’ he said.

David, who is representing Badagry Constituency II at the Assembly, said that the government would not tolerate flagrant disregards to building laws and order by anybody.

He said that one of the regulatory agencies had placed a stop-job order on the building that was under construction in Ilasamaja before it collapsed.

The lawmaker said that: “It is very unfortunate that the state has been recording several cases of building collapse in recent times.

“This is because the people have failed to adhere to the rules governing construction of buildings in Lagos State.’’

David said that the public should liaise with the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development that supervises the regulatory agencies in charge of erecting new building for the approval of their building plans.

“They are supposed to submit their building plans to the ministry where experts will look at them before giving approvals; but this is not done.

“ So, cases of building collapse are caused by our people’s ineptitude.”

The lawmaker also advised intending landlords not to patronise quacks in the industry for their own safety and that of their neighbours.

He assured the residents of the state that the LAHA committee would ensure proper monitoring of physical development by regulatory agencies.

“We will not rest on our oars until things improve and cases building collapse become a thing of the past in the state,” he said.



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