Nigeria’s Lagos State Government has served demolition notices to owners of about seven houses at Jankara area of Lagos Island, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria following the firecracker explosions on Boxing Day.
The government has also begun enumeration of people affected by the fire incident which destroyed 12 houses, 11 cars and killed one person, in order to assist them financially.Seven houses, five on Ojo Giwa Street where the incident occurred, have been marked for demolition, while officials of the Lagos State Raw Materials Testing Agency have begun integrity test on some other buildings in the area.
The demolition notices were served the owners of the affected buildings by the Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, on 2 January, 2013 and was pasted on the affected buildings by officials of the agency.
The notice signed by the General Manager of the agency reads: “I refer to the contravention notice dated 27/12/12 served on you. This office has observed that you have not complied with the instructions contained in the said notice.
“Notice is hereby given that if the said contravention (house) is not removed within certain days, from the date of this notice, the said contravention shall be demolished and the cost of such demolition recovered from you.”
Residents of the area told P.M.NEWS that officials of the state came to the area on Monday, 31 December to begin conducting integrity test on buildings in the area.
Addressing a news conference at the scene of the explosion, General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, said the agency had already demolished 12 buildings affected by the fire.
He said government had ordered integrity tests to be conducted on some buildings in the area believed to be in bad shape and that the results of the test would be made known to the public later.
Oke-Osanyintolu stated that clearing of the area would be concluded in less than two weeks after which fumigation exercise would take place, adding that buildings that fail the integrity test would be demolished while those that require adjustment would be recommended for appropriate action.
According to Oke-Osayintolu, when the incident occurred, officials of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA visited the scene and conducted an Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA on the area.
“Our work here is to make the area safe and calm. Agencies like the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) has carried out environmental impact assessment of the explosion in the area, while the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and the Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) have been on ground to clear the debris and other waste items from the site.
“LASEMA is working to arrest incessant fire incidents in Lagos State. The Lagos State Government will soon come up with post disaster assessment on the explosion,” he said, adding that enumeration of people displaced as a result of the explosions had begun.
Oke-Osanyintolu said government might render financial assistance to people affected by the explosions to cushion the impact of the disaster on them, but noted that it was not a form of compensation.
He appealed to Lagosians to work with the government in order to arrest incessant fire incidents in the metropolis, saying that “they have to do their own bit and be safety conscious. They have to educate their children to be safety conscious.”
On whether the state government would acquire the properties burnt by fire, the LASEMA boss evaded the question but said government would come up with a white paper on the disaster later.