The Lagos State Government on Monday ordered the closure of a building razed by fire in the Magodo area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria to avert tragedy.
General Manager, Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory, Dr. Tajudeen Afolabi, issued the closure order, when he led his team on inspection of the building located at 70 Bashiru Shittu Street, Magodo.
The building was razed on Wednesday, February 12, 2020,
The fire which started around 8am reportedly started from one of the rooms upstairs behind the landlord’s duplex. The building was razed to the ground by the fire which lasted for two hours.
According to Afolabi, who resumed as the new General Manager of the agency on Monday, the order became imperative to prevent any further incident.
He said the structure might cave in any time as the fire had weakened it, which he said necessitated the closure.
“I have ordered that this building be sealed up to save lives as part of the house had cracked while another part had collapsed. We are happy that no life was lost during the incident and we want to prevent a secondary accident.
“There is a need for the occupants to vacate the place as fast as possible. We ask them to vacate so that there will be no loss of life as the upper part of the building might collapse anytime from now and as government parastatals, we will conduct an integrity test to see if the building can still stand the test of time,” he stated.
Earlier, on assumption of duty, the General Manager appealed to stakeholders in the built industry to come to the agency to test their building materials before commencing construction, warning that thee agency would prosecute those who flouted its laws.
According to him, the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory is a regulating agency and that it was ready to regulate the activities of builders in the state and that in this regard, he would want to appeal to all stakeholders that before they commence construction on the site, they should come to the testing laboratory to test all the materials they would be using.
“We have witnessed a lot of collapsed buildings in Lagos State and we want that to change. We don’t want houses that would be built without standing the test of time or building that we will start having defects within a short period of time as we will be combing the streets of Lagos to monitor constructions,” he added.
He said that enforcement was key to getting people do the right thing as only five percent of people might want to obey the laid down laws willing while enforcement would compel 70 percent of others to do the right thing.
“This government is passionate about the environment and people should comply. Developers must do the right thing or we will come after them,” he said, adding that the agency would work with other sister agencies to sanitise the environment.