Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday directed that stability test be conducted on all building constructed by the Lekki Gardens to ascertain their structural integrity, saying that any building found to be defective will be demolished.
Governor who addressed Government House Correspondents at the Lagos House, Ikeja, shortly after inspecting the site of the collapsed building which was under construction by the Lekki Gardens, said the incident which claimed 34 lives and left several others injured was “one building collapse too many”.
He said since the unfortunate incident the state government has taken several steps to stem the tide of building collapse, saying that his administration is determined not to fail in the responsibility of ensuring the safety of lives and property of its citizens.
“The State Government will undertake a stability test on all other buildings constructed by the Developer in the State, whether occupied or not, to ascertain their structural stability. The Developer will pay the cost of the tests. Any building found to be defective would be demolished. For those that pass the integrity test the developer will pay a penalty for any overdevelopment on the site,” he said.
Governor Ambode who commiserated with those who suffered loss and injury as a result of the building collapse said since the incident, the state government has ordered the immediate sealing of the construction site and cessation of further construction, co-ordinated emergency rescue of all injured victims and treatment at its hospitals, prosecution of owners of the collapsed building as well as dismissal of some government officials.
He said the government going forward will carry out an audit of all structures in the state to ascertain those with planning approval or not and evaluate the physical development against the approved building plans, saying that details of the plan will be made public soon. “I want to assure you that there will no longer be any sacred cows. If there is failure of duty, there will be sanctions.
“I also want to seize this opportunity to assure Lagosians that the State Government will do everything within its powers to check the excesses of Developers who flout its regulations and will restore efficiency and confidence in the building control and supervision process,” the Governor said.
To this end, Governor Ambode also revealed that a five man committee to examine the Urban and Regional Planning Law of the State as it affects the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA). The Committee is to be chaired by TPL (Dr) Moses Olubunmi Ajayi, a past President of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners and Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria, while members include Engineer Ore Fadayomi, President of the Nigerian Institute of Structural engineers, Architect (Mrs) Yetunde O. Ajayi, a retired Permanent Secretary, General Manager of Lagos State Planning Authority(LASSPA) and Secretary of Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) as Secretary of the Committee.
Governor Ambode also charged the committee to examine the operations of LASBCA and make recommendations for changes that will ensure effective service delivery, recommend organizational re-structure and appropriate manpower for effective operation of LASBCA, study the legal and operational issues affecting the functioning of the Materials Testing Laboratory and other matters that will enhance the efficient functioning of the two organizations. He gave the committee four weeks to submit its report.