Officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) have commenced the process of removing distressed structures in Lagos Island, Mushin, and other areas across the state as part of efforts to control building collapse, prevent avoidable property loss, and save lives.
The affected buildings include units of three and four flats in Oke-Arin and Doherty Streets of Lagos Island and four-floor, one-unit residential buildings in Idi Araba areas of the state, among others.
The exercise, according to the General Manager of LASBCA, Arc. Gbolahan Oki, is part of the routine mandate of the agency to bring to a minimum the incidence of collapsed buildings and avoidable deaths of Lagos residents.
Speaking on the initial efforts made to ensure that the occupants of the affected buildings vacated the distressed structures, Arc. Oki, who was represented during the evacuation exercise by the Director of Enforcement, LASBCA, Mr. Olusoji Olaopa, said that the agency had marked the building as unfit for habitation earlier and the occupants were expected to have vacated the building for their safety and the safety of others around them.
Oki stated that the evacuation and partial demolition carried out by the agency became necessary in order to compel the occupants of the distressed buildings to relocate to safer accommodations, explaining that the evacuation and partial demolition exercise was the last move by the agency before the final demolition.
He claimed that relevant supervising directors attached to various districts across the state carried out inspection and monitoring exercises to identify the distressed buildings.
Oki assured that the exercise was carried out according to stipulated laws and not as a witch hunt for anyone.
In his words, “The administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu frowns at the avoidable loss of lives and property of residents of the state.” It is time for Lagosians to take their safety seriously and avoid blaming the government at all times”.
Arc. Oki assured Lagosians that the agency will relentlessly pursue its vision and goal of ensuring that all buildings across the state are fit for habitation and constitute no risk to other nearby structures.
One of the residents of the affected buildings in the Oke-Arin area of the state, Mr. Rabiu Jamiu, affirmed that the officials of LASBCA had earlier served evacuation notice to the occupants of the building, adding that the landlords were also advised to carry out an integrity test on the buildings in order to ascertain their structural integrity.
Jamiu, who claimed to have lived in the affected building for about 13 years, said that the government’s move was for the safety of all.
“It is painful, but because I don’t have where to keep my belongings for now or where to stay with my family members, my wife is in the house packing out loads, and our children have gone to school, but life goes on because this move is also for our safety”.
Meanwhile, the officials of LASBCA have sealed a warehouse in Mushin under construction for not obtaining necessary approvals as well as a building under renovation along Palm Avenue in Mushing for contravening required approval processes.