Lagos Earmarks 109 Distressed Buildings for Demolition

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  •  Says 40 already demolished

Gboyega Akinsanmi

The Lagos State Government has disclosed that it has identified 109 structurally defective buildings across the state, which would be demolished to prevent loss of lives and property in the state.

The state government also disclosed that of the 149 buildings earmarked for demolition, 40 had already been removed, while 38 others would be brought down this year to ensure safety of lives and property.

The Commissioner for Physical Planning & Urban Development, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye, gave the figure Monday at a ministerial news conference he addressed at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa.

He addressed the conference alongside the Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan; Special Adviser on Urban Development, Mrs. Yetunde Onabule; and the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Boladele Dapo-Thomas, among others.

At the conference, the commissioner warned that the state government would not hesitate to pull down any distressed structure identified in the state to avoid the loss of lives and property.

According to Ogunleye, some of the structures were distressed while others were illegally built on setbacks, drainage channels and incompatible uses which resulted in public complaints and disaffection.

He said: “It gives me satisfaction to report that during the year under review, the state recorded a significant reduction in building collapse. This was achieved through collaboration with stakeholders as well as intensive Post-Construction Audit of buildings by the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA).

“In a systematic approach to curtail occurrences of building collapse, 149 distressed buildings were identified at different locations out of which 40 of such have been removed, while the next phase of 38 of the structurally defective structures have been earmarked for removal. Others would follow suit to safeguard lives and property.”

He gave details about how the distressed buildings were discovered, noting that the state government embarked on intensive audit through the Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory, and in the process, visited the 57 local governments and local council development areas of the state to inspect both on-going construction sites and completed buildings suspected to be distressed.

Consequently, according to the commissioner, 1,842 sites were visited, 1,392 Test Advice Notices were served and information on buildings identified as distressed were forwarded to LASBCA.

On compensation, the commissioner noted that it was indeed instructive that as part of the inclusive governance model of the present administration, both property owners with Certificate of Occupancy and other documents, as well as those without such but with prove of ownership, have been compensated and still being considered.

He explained that the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode “has been benevolent in dealing with owners and developers whose structures were affected by the construction of roads and other forms of infrastructure development”.

“There have been instances where the government even approved compensation for people whose only proof of ownership were pictures taken in front of the structures because the governor does not want to subject the people to inconveniences as a result of the removal of their structures for public projects,” he stated.

He said following detailed inventory, enumeration, evaluation exercises and analysis of submitted documents, work had reached advanced stage to compensate house owners whose structures were demolished for the construction of Orile/Badagry road expansion, Agric-Ishawo Road in Ikorodu, Epe Road expansion project, Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road, Free Trade Zone Resettlement Land and Adiyan Waterworks Phase II, among others.