The Lagos State Government has disclosed that efforts are being intensified to reduce incidents of building collapse as the rainy season approaches, saying that no effort would be spared in getting rid of derelict buildings across the State.
The General Manager of Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Arc. Gbolahan Oki, gave the assurance at the weekend, during the demolition of distressed buildings located at 17b, Odo-Osun Street, off Glover Street and 20, Omididun Street, both on Lagos Island.
He said that the demolition exercise was scheduled for Sunday because of traffic congestion and ease of moving the demolition equipment by officials of the Agency.
Oki recalled that occupants of the buildings had been served different notices since 2019 with a reminder sent to them two weeks ago to vacate the building in order to prevent continued endangering of their lives and those of their neighbours.
“We must begin to be very civil in our approach to issues, especially when it borders on human lives, by not waiting until the worst happens. I find it very hard to believe that some people could still be pleading with the occupants of this distressed building for more time from the government”, the LASBCA boss stated.
He expressed the hope that Lagosians would soon begin to follow the appropriate process of pulling down distressed buildings on their own without waiting for the government to expend tax payers’ money on mobilising equipment and human resources for building demolition.
While maintaining that the demolition exercise will continue across different parts of the State, Arc. Oki advised Lagosians to always build safely, prioritising their individual and collective safety, which remain the major way of averting incessant building collapse.
Also speaking during the demolition exercise, LASPPPA District Officer for Lagos Island, Tpl. Yemisi Alaka, said that the demolition was in continuation of the exercise started by both LASBCA and LASPPPA some weeks ago.
She explained that LASBCA had earlier identified several distressed buildings across the State for demolition following a survey carried out by the agency and reports or information received from members of the public.
Alaka averred that the State Government identified some buildings that are about to give way so, rather than leave the buildings to cause havoc, the identified buildings were marked for demolition by the agency to avert tragedy of the loss of lives when the rains start.
She expressed concern that people were still living in the identified buildings in spite of warnings earlier issued and abatement notices served to the occupants, stressing that these are part of the reasons that LASBCA, in collaboration with LASPPPA, embarked on the removal of such buildings before they collapsed.
One of the residents of the area, who is an electrician, expressed his appreciation for the quick intervention by the government, saying that if the buildings had been left unattended to, they would eventually collapse and affect other buildings and their inhabitants around the area.