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Lagos Govt. identifies 200 distressed buildings, begins removal exercise

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

Atleast 200 buildings were said to have been identified by the Lagos State Government through its building control agency (LASBCA), as being distressed and could cave in anytime on the occupants and residents of the community where they were sited in the state.

They were said to have been discovered by the LASBCA team during an aggressive enforcement exercise carried out across the state to avert the loss of lives and property across Lagos.

In a bid to avert its sudden collapse in Lagos, LASBCA  officials were said to have started going after the property and have compelled occupants of the marked buildings to evacuate before pulling the distressed structures down during a controlled demolition exercise.

One of the distressed buildings identified among the over 200 structures and pulled down on Monday was a one-storey building on 42 Jebba street in Ebutte-Metta, Lagos Mainland Local Government.

The house, as gathered, was filled with visible cracks that indicated that it could come down at any time on the occupants including an old woman, who were said to have been served on separate occasions to leave but refused to yield to the appeal by officials of the building control agency.

Aside from the building pulled down, some other buildings including a school within Ebutte-Metta were also discovered to have been marked by the LASBCA team led by its General Manager, Gbolahan Oki, after the structures were certified by experts to be constituting a major threat to residents of the community.

Some of the buildings were marked to have become were on 37 Coates street, 17 Jebba street, 3, 8, and 14 Ondo street, 13 and 19 Ibadan street, 3 Simpson street as well as another on freeman street

The team was said to have been aided by residents of the community who took a strong stance that they were not comfortable anymore with sudden cases of collapsed buildings across the council.

Some of the residents include Nollywood actors, Sunny Alli and Rilwan Onilegbale, and they accompanied the government officials on the drive to ensure that the LASBCA officials have full access to all buildings that were discovered to be distressed and should be brought down.

Onilegbale, while addressing pressmen, said that they decided to join the movement after the persistent collapse of buildings became unbearable and that it had led to the deaths of occupants as well as the destruction of properties.

According to him, our him is basically to ensure that the people live without fear that the building they live in would collapse and that is our current aim. We do not want to record any collapsed buildings and deaths that accompanied them. So, that is why we have decided to support the government in the drive to achieve that.

Another resident, Rahman Ayorinde, meanwhile, appealed to the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to assist occupants of distressed buildings including those that had been evicted, to secure better accommodations within the council and Lagos Island.

Ayorinde disclosed that many that had refused to leave distressed buildings were due to high rent placed on houses that were structurally stable by their owners across the council.

While addressing the residents, Oki stated that the aim was to prevent the loss of lives and property that often accompanied collapsed building incidents across the state.

The LASBCA boss told the residents that all the government wanted was a society that is safe for all and that which has zero tolerance for collapsing buildings within its metropolis.



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