Lagos: Over 500 buildings may collapse – Commissioner

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The Lagos state government has identified over 500 distressed and abandoned buildings in the state which it claims may collapse if they are not rehabilitated. As a result of this, the government has issued June 3 deadline for owners to put such buildings into shape or face the the prosecution

Abiola Anifowoshe, the commissioner for physical planning and urban development, has said that the state government would not tolerate distressed and abandoned buildings littering the streets of Lagos.

Anifowoshe gave the warning in Lagos on Tuesday, May 10. He said government is taken an inventory of abandoned buildings in the state and had identified over 500 distressed buildings.

“Recently the ministry published the first batch of these abandoned buildings and has since issued a 90 days ultimatum to owners to take possession or be ready to face the wrath of the law. We would continue to carry out our ministerial responsibilities until every building constructed in Lagos state is fit for human habitation. I have published over 500 distressed and abandoned buildings.

“We have identified them and we have evacuated the occupants. We have sealed the buildings. It cost the government huge amount of money to pull down any building. And the government cannot put all its money in demolition alone.

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That was why we have decided to embark on the exercise in phases. He continued: “The buildings we have identified were the ones we know are dangerous for habitation and we have given the owners three months ultimatum to correct the error. And by June 3rd, the ultimatum will expire.

“The government will do the needful if they fail to abide by the ultimatum. Our action will do depends on the position of the building. We will conduct integrity test on the building and when we do, we will advise the government on what should be done to the buildings.”

The commissioner stated that beyond this, government had put measures in place to curb the incidence of building collapse in the State by adopting compulsory integrity test of building and construction materials in conjunction with the Lagos state materials testing laboratory,” he said.

Anifowoshe said government was determined to ensure that Lagos remained the Centre of Excellence and that it was resolute on its commitment to zero tolerance for building collapse.

“To those who would rather engage in illegal development, I must reiterate government’s determination to ensure that no developer would be allowed to put people’s lives at risk.

Developers who engage in illegal development would face the full wrath of the law and forfeit such properties to government,” he added He called on all stakeholders- developers, owners, occupiers and professionals in the built environment to join hands with government and explore the limitless opportunities available in the ministry to obtain necessary permits and approvals for their developments. This he said would curb the unwholesome trend of illegal development and needless loss of lives and properties.

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