The Lagos State government has swung into action following the collapse of a four storey building at Lagos Island on Wednesday which left over 18 pupils dead and leaving scores injured.
The Lagos state building control agency (LABSCA) on Friday began the demolition of defective buildings on the Lagos Island. The agency’s task force pulled down a three storey building on 60A Freeman Street, Epetedo area.
According to LABSCA official, Mr. Omotayo Fakolujo: “On the Lagos Island we have over 150 houses marked for demolition. We have removed over 30 in the last one year and we are going to be removing them in phase.
“What we are trying to do is to remove occupants from all these structures that have been marked so that no life is lost in Lagos.
“For now on Lagos Island alone, we have a clear court case approval of over 80 cases and 80 structures that are ready for removal and we will do it in phases systematically from today (Friday) so that life will be comfortable for Lagosians.
“We will remove three today on Lagos Island. And for the houses that are still occupied, we are going to evict the occupants of the structures because their life is more prominent to us.”
Noting that the agency is monitoring to ensure that new structures are built aright, he noted that in the past three years there is no new structure that has gone down in the state.
“This is because materials testing is doing due diligence into those structures and the state building control through its certification department is also building with them.
“But we need to do foundation proven for over 70 present to the old structures that are over 25 years old to ensure that they are still structurally sound.
“On Massey Street, we have about four or five houses left that we are trying to remove. There is still litigation that we must avoid rehabilitee that might arise from litigation if we remove forcefully without clarifying that.
“On our mode of demolishing, these structures are so close by; we have to remove them systematically, manually so that we can ensure that there is safety.
“The exercise is not prompted by the recent collapsed building, before this incident we have removed over 10 structures within Ajeromi Ifemodun and Apapa within the Ijora axis.
“We have to go through exposures of reinforcement, physible craft on it and scientifically, most of these buildings must be subjected to test through Lagos state material testing and its agency and that is how we identify them, so that we are sure that no one is malicious about bringing down the structures,” he said.
Contrary to previous experiences, residents and passer-by on Freeman Street Epetedo, Lagos, praised the officials for the demolition exercise. A resident, who identified himself as Tajudeen, told The Nation that it is a welcome development.
He said government has shown with this exercise that it has the interest of the people at heart. Tajudeen revealed that a lot of houses on the island were built poorly and by unqualified masons.
“We are happy; everything should be brought to ground zero. We don’t want any loss of lives again,” he said.
On the house demolished on 47 Smith Street, one of the owners of the property, Mrs. Oshodi Glover, said the developer given the job to renovate the house did nothing.
“What is in the book is that he will renovate our house and hand it over to us. We were told to do test and we did. We have been on the case for about seven years now, the case has continuously been adjourned, we have done the test and we are going to court again next week.