Politics, Seat of Power

Lagos declares zero tolerance for building collapse

Akinwunmi Ambode

…Detects 500 defective, abandoned buildings

The Lagos State Government has reaffirmed its commitment to ensure zero tolerance for building collapse in the state, just as it revealed that about 500 buildings that are either defective or abandoned have been discovered, threatening to take appropriate actions on the building if the owners refuse to take ownership of their structures.

Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Wasiu Anifowoshe, who disclosed this on Tuesday, said that the present administration is determined to ensure that Lagos remains the Centre of Excellence stressing that the Government is resolute on its commitment to zero tolerance for building collapse in the state.

Lamenting the increasing rate of defective and abandoned buildings, Anifowoshe warned owners of abandoned buildings in the ‎state to take ownership of their structures and do the needful or face the wrath of the law.

“Let me declare that the State Government is determined to ensure that Lagos remains the centre and hub of activities, hence our resolute on commitment to zero tolerance for building collapse in the state. To those who would rather engage in illegal development, I must reiterate government’s determination to ensure that no developer would be allowed to put people’s lives at risk. Developers who engage in illegal development would face the full wrath of law and forfeit such properties to government.

‎”We have identified over 500 distressed and abandoned buildings. We have identified them and we have evacuated the occupants. We have sealed the buildings. It cost the government huge amount of money to pull down any building. And the government cannot put all its money in demolition alone. That was why we have decided to embark on the exercise in phases.

“The buildings we have identified were the ones we know are dangerous for habitation. And we have given the owners three months ultimatum to correct the error. And by June 3rd, the ultimatum will expire.‎ The marking of the buildings is ongoing. We went round the entire state to identify distressed buildings and very soon, we will release another list of distressed buildings in state.

‎Harping on the integrity test for Lekki Garden buildings, the Commissioner said some of the buildings had been reopened on the order of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode after they passed the test. He added that the case on the collapsed building is still ongoing.

“What we did was that we sealed the buildings but the governor demanded that the building should be unsealed. The tenants have been given the permission to return to their houses. The integrity test was conducted by the Lagos State Material testing Laboratory and the result of the test would have been submitted to the governor. It is the governor who has the right to announce the result of the test,” he added.

On the prosecution of the Lekki Gardens’ Developer over the collapse of one of the firm’s buildings, Anifowoshe refused to comment on the issue, saying investigation was ongoing and the state ‎government would not intervene until the police complete their investigations.

According to him, “We are waiting for the report of the Nigerian Police on the Lekki Gardens collapsed 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 government on the best step to be taken.

The Commissioner also informed that another urban development project on the front burner of the present administration is the development of Kotangowa Market, adding that the market when fully developed will accommodate businesses currently operating in the Ikeja Computer Village with world class facilities.

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