By Kazeem Ugbodaga
The Lagos State Government says it has identified 300 distressed buildings across the State, which will undergo integrity test.
General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, Engr. Abiola Kosegbe, disclosed this on Tuesday at a Public Engagement and Enlightenment Programme, tagged: “Prevention of Building Collapse: A Collective Responsibility,” held in Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
She said in the course of monitoring, the agency identified 300 suspected distressed buildings across the State, saying that the buildings would be made to undergo integrity test.
Kosegbe stated that any building that failed the integrity test would be brought down in order to stem the tide of collapsed building.
However, she said the theme of the public enlightenment aimed to recognise the collective need to put heads together with stakeholders to discuss ideas and strategies to reduce the menace of building collapse to the barest minimum if not to zero.
“The Agency is saddled with the responsibilities of enforcing Building Control Regulations, ensuring that prospective developers/owners seek authorization to commence works after obtaining the necessary permits, certification of various stages of building works to completion, among others to discourage haphazard and illegal building development by removing them at infancy and encourage safe and structurally stable construction,” she said.
The LASBCA GM said the agency would continue to put vigor into post-construction audit of existing structures in order to ensure quick response to the structural stability and fitness for use of existing buildings, saying this initiative was primarily to ensure that buildings were safe and habitable in order to avert the spate of collapse of structures and provide a much needed health check on all buildings within the State.
“We as a people desire a better Lagos City, a city that works, this is attainable when government and its people work together: it is in this regard that we are creating the right kind of enlightenment, education and public engagement With the general public particularly the stakeholders in the built environment. We realize that our work load will be reduced if Lagosians/stakeholders are aware and imbibe the culture of building according to the laws, rules and regulations as earlier mentioned, and this IS where you come in, as our respected partners and stakeholders in the built industry, we implore you all, to encourage your clients to obey the laws, build right and build well for a greater Lagos City,” she stated.
She said a good maintenance culture is the key to a long-life span of building, stressing that when properly maintained, the building would last longer, adding that Western world developed because their residents chose to obey laws, disciplined and abide by the laws, and that Lagos could not and should not be an exception.
Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, in his speech, said the enlightenment programme was valuable in the performance of “our collective task of finding lasting and sustainable solutions to incessant building collapse in our dear State.”
“I am also convinced that today’s event is of great importance for the articulation of the State policies, plans and strategies put in place to achieve her vision of zero tolerance for building collapse,” said Salako, who was represented by Oladeinde Olawale.
He said the choice of Ikeja division of the State for the event could not have been more appropriate due to the spate of building collapse experienced in recent times.
“Therefore, the need to avail the residents of the area the opportunity to understand Physical Planning and Development Matters and forestall building collapse as well as encourage a better understanding of the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development laws of 2010 is long overdue.
“The Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development (Amended) law 2019 is aimed at achieving zero tolerance to incidences of building collapse, illegal development, non-conforming development, among others, with a view to ensuring better physical environment for sustainable development.
“Sustainable physical development requires the participation of every Lagosian whose cooperation is needed for successful implementation of the existing laws and regulations.
“Lagos with a current population of about 25 million is facing challenges of rapid urbanization, environmental degradation, housing congestion. Therefore, addressing these issues requires proper urban planning, effective and efficient enforcement drive to make the city inclusive, environmental friendly, economically vibrant, culturally meaningful and safe for all,” Salako stated.