Lagos, March 25, 2019 The Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) has called on Lagos State Government to establish a database for new and ongoing building works for more effective monitoring to avert buildings collapse.
Mr George Akinola, President of the Guild, made the call on Monday at a news conference on “Effective Solutions to Mitigate Building Collapse’’ in Lagos.
Akinola said the state government could achieve this through its agency, the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABSCA), saddled with the responsibility of controlling and monitoring of buildings.
He said that the world was data-driven and that there were no adequate records on the number of existing or distressed buildings in the state.
Akinola said that there should be a weekly reports by the monitoring officials on the buildings.
According to him, Government should re-emphasise the rule that house owners should inform the Building Control Agency before the commencement of building construction and on no account should the LASBCA officers abandon the site.
“The menace posed by building collapse and sub-standard construction in our society, especially in Lagos State, has become alarming, and proactive measures are needed to tackle it.
“Research proves that there were over 140 building collapse incidents in one year with over 150 lives lost in Lagos.
“The Synagogue Church and Lekki Gardens terrible incidents are still very fresh in our collective memory with the attendant time and energy lost in litigation.
“On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, a three-storey building at No. 63 Massey St., Ita-Faji area of Lagos Island, collapsed with more than 20 people reportedly dead, among whom were children and a pregnant woman.
“This is the time to say enough. With adequate database, the government monitoring agency will easily fast track housing development.
“Every new building, as well as those under construction, must have appropriate professionals assigned to monitor the project. These professionals would be made accountable for the project safety,’’ Akinola said.
He condemned the current building demolitions by the LASBCA, saying that building demolition has scientific procedures, which were neglected by the agency.
“Buildings and other developments that do not comply with the spirit, concept and context of the Urban renewal master plan should be removed.
“But before removal, the building should be valued and assessed for the purpose of compensating the owners.
“Residents, squatters and tenants should be relocated to resettlement centres for a period during which they may be able to pick up the pieces of their lives.
“A resettlement loan scheme may be inaugurated for this purpose,’’ he said.