Stakeholders urge Lagos to act over distressed buildings in the metropolis
Disturbed by the incidences of collapsed buildings in Lagos metropolis with the seeming hopelessness of stemming the tide, builders took a critical look at the past efforts by the officials in addressing the menace.
However, stakeholders in the built environment, who commented on the matter, were of the view that government, as a matter of urgency, should be more proactive in addressing the issue than waiting for collapse to occur.
To be proactive, it was argued that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode must look at the recommendations made by the various groups in the built environment on the best way to address the issue.
Specifically, members of a professional body, Nigeria Institute of Building (NIOB), in one of their deliberations penultimate week, asked what has been the position of government over more than identified 4000 properties categorized as distressed across the state.
While admitting that government has done well by identifying those buildings, it needs to go further by ensuring their demolition.
According to Mr. Bashir S. Ashimiyu, NIOB Chairman, Lagos Chapter, government should, as a matter of urgency, evacuates occupants of the distressed buildings, especially, those that are in a precarious condition and ensure the immediate demolition.
To Ashimiyu, government should invoke laws guiding building codes in Lagos and if need be, seeks legislative approval that would empower the executive arm of government to expedites demolition exercise, particularly, those that may not be regenerated.
Speaking in similar vein, the immediate Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Olutoyin Ayinde suggested what he described as “constructive engagement” among the stakeholders.
These include government officials, building owners, professional bodies, law enforcement agents and possibly, non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
In 2014, authorities of the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development marked 191 distressed buildings for demolition, as it has also stated that about 447 defective buildings may collapse in the city.
Sources revealed that in the last one year, 5,910 structures were identified and served contravention notice, while 447 defective buildings were also identified in different parts of Lagos State.