Nigeria’s Lagos State Government has ordered structural integrity tests to be conducted on at least 50 houses at Jankara area of Lagos Island, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria following the explosions that rocked the area on Boxing Day.
It is feared that the foundations of the houses might have been weakened due to intense vibration from the explosions emanating from 45, Ojo Giwa Street where firecrackers and other explosives were stored.
The structural integrity tests are to ascertain which houses have been weakened by the explosions to allow for repair or outright demolition of such buildings. Most houses in the area are three-storey buildings.
General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu said government would leave nothing to chance in order to avert incidents of collapsed buildings.
According to him, government would not demolish the buildings around the vicinity of the explosions until integrity tests had been conducted on them
“We are not going to demolish all the buildings again, we will allow them to undergo structural integrity tests. There is no emergency operation in the area again as we have been able to arrest the situation for now but almost all the buildings in the entire area will need to undergo the tests,” he said. The LASEMA boss said at least 50 buildings in the area would undergo the tests, adding that any building found to be structurally defective after the tests would be demolished to avert disaster.
He stated that the landlords of such houses had been mandated to carry out the tests on their buildings immediately using professionals from the state government, failure for which government would carry out the tests for them and ensured they pay heavily for it.
On whether government would seize the lands from landlords of the 10 buildings burnt by the fire, Oke-Osanyintolu parried the question, saying that there is a law in place and that government would act appropriately in due course.
The LASEMA General Manager added that the fire was put out completely around 2 a.m. on Thursday, as fire fighters fought the fire all night. He confirmed that everything was now under control. He said Lagos now had a responsive emergency agency that could work for 24-hours to meet target.
Affected buildings were being pulled down yesterday by officials of LASEMA.
At least, 10 buildings, 11 cars were destroyed by fire caused by firecrackers at Ojo Giwa, Jankara area of Lagos Island on Boxing Day, while one person was confirmed dead.