The Lagos State Government on Wednesday said that there was the need for total regeneration of Lagos Island to prevent incidents that could endanger the lives of residents.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said this when he visited the five-storey building completely razed at Balogun Market in Lagos Island on Tuesday.
Sanwo-Olu, in a statement, said that the move to regenerate the area would include meeting with owners of some abandoned high-rise buildings dotting the area for the possible use of the property.
According to him, the government will conduct integrity test on all buildings in the Central Business District (CBD) in Lagos Island and re-visit the regeneration master plan designed by the previous administrations.
He urged families that owned property on Lagos Island to support the move.
”This fire incident presents discussion for complete regeneration of Lagos. Here, we have a lot of buildings as old as a century. Now is the time to look into the masterplan for complete regeneration of the entire area.
”We also have abandoned high-rise buildings on the Island and we have done an audit of all these buildings.
”We need to have a conversation with the owners on how we can put the abandoned property to better use. There are a lot of traders who wish to take away their wares from the road and occupy these abandoned building.
”We need to talk with the owners and reach an agreement on a scheme that would make traders use the abandoned property,” the governor said.
Sanwo-Olu condemned the hazardous and unsafe conditions created by some traders who used heavy generating sets on topmost floors of multi-storey buildings in the market.
He said that the integrity test to be conducted on the buildings would ensure enforcement of structural codes to prevent traders from creating conditions that would endanger lives and property.
The governor also said that his administration would build Phase II of the Oluwole Modern Market to discourage street trading and eliminate incidents of fire and other hazards associated with uncoordinated trading.
Sanwo-Olu said the state would no longer tolerate recklessness in market allocations by local government officials, as he had called for an emergency meeting with council chairmen for discussion on shop allocations across markets.
”I have summoned an emergency meeting with all local government areas chairmen later today. We cannot condone the reckless approach in which shops are allocated to people in a manner that is not coordinated.
”When problems arise, it comes back to the state government. We will not fold our arms and wait for disasters like this to repeat itself,” he said.
The governor said the fire incident should serve as a pointer to Lagosians on the need to place a high premium on the safety of lives and goods in the marketplace.
He said that government would hasten discussion with electricity distribution companies for regular power supply to markets.
Sanwo-Olu promised that government would support traders whose means of livelihood were destroyed in the fire incident.