No fewer than 100 structures have been pulled down by the Lagos State Building Control Agency within the past eight months, pursuant to its crackdown on building collapses in the state, findings from The PUNCH has revealed.
Statistics collated from the official website of the building control agency revealed that the structures demolished by LASBCA within the period ranged from defective constructions and distressed buildings to illegal attachments and shanties. According to findings by the correspondent, the state government has in the past two months demolished at least 23 structures that were deemed inhabitable or capable of posing danger to lives and property.
The demolished structures included about eight distressed buildings in Ebute-Metta, seven distressed buildings in Mushin, buildings on Lagos Island, a church parsonage, as well as some illegal shanties that were erected along Navy Gate, Satellite Town in the Oriade Local Council Development Authority of the state. Recently, LASBCA announced that it had begun the demolition of Milton Montessori School located in Jide Street, off Odunsi Street, in the Bariga area of the state.
LASBCA’s Director of Enforcement, Mr. Kayode Olaopa, while leading the exercise, explained that the dilapidated state of the building informed the decision of the state government to swing into action swiftly and prevent loss of lives and properties. He observed that despite the vacation notice earlier issued to the occupants of the structure, the management of the school still continued housing school children, thereby exposing the pupils and the staff to imminent danger. He said, “What our officials have done here today is a proactive step to ensure the safety of lives and properties. We do not have to wait for disasters to happen but, instead, we nip any disaster in the bud such that reported cases of building collapse can reduce drastically.
In this particular case, a school that houses several children is involved. The risk is even higher because these are toddlers who cannot even scamper for safety in case anything happens.
Olaopa, who said that the building had already started tilting, insisted that the structure must undergo a controlled demolition process in order to save lives and prevent avoidable calamity for children and the workers. A building expert, Chukwurah Godfrey, while reacting to the recent wave of demolitions by the Lagos State Government, said the move was germane and necessary to save lives and property.
Godfrey said, “If buildings have been identified to be in a distressed condition, I think that the right thing to do is pull them down before casualties are recorded.”