Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Friday appealed to artisans in the state to help the government to tackle shoddy construction and all acts of corruption causing building collapse.
Sanwo-Olu made the call at a hybrid stakeholders engagement in Oregun, organised by the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) for all artisans in the built environment.
The event had masons, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, welders, painters and other artisans in attendance.
It was to deliberate on the best practices in achieving building compliance in Lagos State, with the theme “Achieving Building Compliance: A Task for All Stakeholders”.
Sanwo-Olu said the stakeholders’ engagement was important because artisans were the most important stakeholders who could checkmate site infractions.
He said artisans were well positioned such that from start to finish of projects required their inputs, urging them to reject shoddy construction and report corruption on site.
He said when buildings collapse, apart from loss of lives, the artisans also lose their means of livelihood and credibility, urging them to shun projects without approval..
The governor said any project that had approval but was not being supervised by LASBCA officials should be avoided.
“Please rise against injustice, don’t keep quiet when things are being done wrong on site because if you keep quiet and the building collapses a lot of people may die,” he said.
The governor, represented by Special Adviser e-GIS, Dr Babatunde Olajide, called for collaboration against environmental infractions causing flooding.
He also urged the artisans not to certify trainees that had not completed training to qualify for practice.
Sanwo-Olu urged them to also respect constituted authorities and obey laid down guidelines.
He said they should obey their associations who in turn should obey government rules and regulations.
The General Manager of LASBCA), Mr Gbolahan Oki, said collaboration of artisans was needed for the agency to adequately supervise projects to tame building collapse.
“Without all of you seated here, what we call building construction is completely incomplete.
“All the artisans are extremely important in the construction industry, and not just this sector, but in various others,” he said.
Oki, who spoke in Yoruba, said Sanwo-Olu would always take decisions that would guarantee safety, welfare and wellbeing of residents.
He said contractors, developers or property owners who want to cut corners usually used artisans because they were always present on site, adding that, no bad business could happen except artisans agreed.
He said artisans could prevent the menace of building collapse if they insist things must be done right, quality standards upheld and they report infractions to LASBCA.
Mr Kehinde Osinaike, General Manager, Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA), advised residents to always approach his agency from the very moment they plan to purchase land and before construction for proper guidance.
“In this sector, we are the first point of call, even before you purchase that land, it is important that you come to the town planning office for planning advice, where we are going to tell you what kind of building you can build on a particular piece of land, what height, density and units you can build on it,” he said.
He explained that it is not everywhere that residents could build anything because different areas were delineated for different purposes, such as commercial, residential or mixed settlements.
He said physical development was being well planned for sanity, to prevent haphazard construction and disorderly environment, adding that artisans were important to achieving the goals.
Risikat Bello, a Director from the Lagos State Planning and Environmental Monitoring Authority (LASPEMA) also said Lagos was working on achieving a resilient city and sanity.
She said her agency was providing eco friendly stalls for artisans for proper regulation of open spaces and road setbacks.
Mubarak Gbaja-Biamila, Honourary Secretary, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), thanked LASBCA for scaling up surveillance on construction sites to curb sharp practice.
He warned artisans to avoid helping developers or property owners to rehabilitate defective buildings without permission or supervision of LASBCA to avert disaster.
Other stakeholders including Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Lagos State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, lawmakers took turns to advise all artisans to work within areas of their specialisation for professionalism.
They also advised the artisans to reject projects on drainage paths and under high tension wires to avert disasters.
It was reported that Olubuade Nofisat, a female welder, was the first to be presented three sets of work tools/equipment for being the only woman in the trade.
Thereafter, raffle draws were held and lucky artisans across trade lines who won were also given boxes containing tools and equipment for their professions.
Other side attractions included tour of exhibition stands, music and drama.