A man being rescued from the scene of a building, which collapsed at Itafaji on the Lagos Island on Wednesday (13/3/19). 02152/13/3/2019Kayode Oladapo/JAU/BJO/NAN

The General Manager Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) Mrs. Abiola Kosegbe, has declared a lot of buildings in the state were distressed.

She spoke at a stakeholders meeting on collapsed building organised by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) at Alausa on Wednesday.

Kosegbe, who said the statistics were alarming, assured that the agency had taken inventory and was already working towards addressing them.

She appealed to resident to subject their buildings to integrity test, noting that all hands must be on deck to prevent building collapse in the state.

“We intend to hopefully come out with a lot of things that will help in preventing building collapse. Usually, when distressed structures are identified, we mark them and the owners are expected to take them down or perform needed repairs.

“But now, the government is being proactive and we try most times take action before such buildings collapses.

“Currently, there are a lot of distress buildings in Lagos right now and we have taken inventory of them. Hopefully, in the next two to three months, we are going to try to address the situation one by one,” she said.

Director General of LASEMA Dr. Femi Oke-Osayintolu said the meeting was called following the need for holistic approach in preventing building collapse.

He said there was need to understand the remote causes of building collapse in the state, adding that the administration of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has made safety of lives and properties a priority.

Osayintolu said there was also plan by the government to remodel, develop and upgrade certain areas of the state for improved economic and aesthetic value.

To achieve this, Osayintolu said talks will be held with locals in the identified areas, adding that the people will be drivers of the projects.

Osayintolu said there were some buildings the state would critically look into within 24 hours, adding that the government was prepared to accommodate persons who would be affected by its urbanisation policy until alternatives were available for them.

He said: “We are not talking about demolishing here. We are talking about urbanisation, regeneration and reconstruction. We are not saying government will do this and that. We are saying our people. It is going to be people orientated and that is why we started by laying a good foundation- calling all the key stakeholders.

“We are going to call our people into it too. We are going to carry out a lot of awareness, enlightment before we take any action. Government will not take any action. We (the people) will take all the actions. It is going to be everyone’s business.

“We must ensure that we do not experience building collapse in our state. In doing so, we have called the people they call ‘seven Bs’ which are the town planners, builders, architects, surveyors, land users and government regulatory agencies together for frank discussions.

“We want to know where we are weak, our strengths and how to improve on our weaknesses. We are still going to carry out a sort of workshop for everybody including the artisans in this job.”

President, Architects Council of Nigeria (ARCON) Dipo Ajayi said the government, professionals in construction and the people all share blames, adding that over 100 buildings have collapsed in the last three years across the country.

He said government must have the will power to upgrade places like Kara and Itafaji which have become slum communities and were defacing, demarketing the state.

In her submission, a surveyor Mrs. Adekemi Okusaga, said poor quality of building materials was responsible for building collapses, lamenting that today’s block were no longer thick.

She emphasised the need to return to the basics, warning people to stop sharp practices.
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