The Lagos State Government says it has demolished two structurally defective buildings on Lagos Island ahead of the rainy season to prevent collapses and loss of lives and properties.
Mr Gbadeyan Bello, the spokesman of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABSCA) in a statement on Monday, said the General Manager, LABSCA, Mr Gbolahan Oki, led the demolition on Sunday.
Oki said that efforts were being intensified to reduce the incidences of building collapse ahead of the rainy season, adding that measures are in place to demolish derelict buildings across the state.
He said Sunday was chosen for demolition of the distressed buildings located at No. 17b, Odo Osun Street, Off Glover Street and No. 20 Omididun Street, both in Lagos Island, for logistics convenience.
He explained that light traffic was needed for ease of movement of the demolition equipment by the officials of the agency to sites.
Oki recalled that the occupants of the buildings had been served various notices since 2019, with a reminder two weeks ago to vacate the building so as not to jeopardise their safety and that of their neighbours.
“We must begin to be very civil in our approaches to issues especially when it borders on human lives by not waiting until the worst happens.
“I find it very hard to believe that some people could still be pleading with the occupants of this distressed building for more time from the government,” the LABSCA boss said.
He expressed hope that Lagos residents would soon begin to adopt safety measures to pull down distressed buildings on their own without waiting for government to deploy its resources to do it.
Oki said the exercise would continue across different parts of the state and advised residents to always build right and prioritise individual and collective safety to avert incessant building collapse.
Mrs Yemisi Alaka, the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) District Officer for Lagos Island, said the joint exercise by LASBCA and LASPPPA began two weeks ago.
Alaka said that LABSCA had earlier identified several distressed buildings across the state for demolition following a survey as well as reports and information received from members of the public.
She said identified distressed buildings needed urgent demolition to prevent havoc and avert the tragedy of loss of lives when the rain starts.
She expressed concern that people were still living in the identified buildings in spite of warnings earlier issued and abatement notices served the occupants, hence the demolition.
Mr Ahmed Adeshina, an electrician who lives in the area, lauded government’s early intervention, saying if the buildings are left unattended, they will eventually collapse and affect other buildings.