This Day (Lagos)

4 January 2013

Nigeria: Jankara Explosion - Lagos Serves Building Demolition Notices

Lagos State Government has served demolition notices to about seven houses at Jankara subsequent to the firecrackers, which exploded Boxing Day, razing 12 houses and 11 vehicles.

The state government has also kick-started enumeration of the victims of the fire incident, which THISDAY gathered that it was being conducted with in order to give the victims some financial assistance.

At a visit to the scene of the incident yesterday, about seven houses including five on Ojo Giwa Street, where the incident occurred had been served demolition notices.

It was gathered that officials of the Lagos State Raw Materials Testing Agency have begun the conduct of structural and stability integrity test on some buildings around the scene of the fire incident.

But the demolition notices was served the affected buildings by the State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) on January 2 and was pasted in front of the affected buildings.

The notice reads in part: "I refer to the contravention notice dated December 27, 2012 served on you. This office has observed that you have not complied with the instructions contained in the said notice.

"Notice is hereby given that if the said contravention is not removed within certain days, from the date of this notice, the said contravention/authorised shall be demolished and the cost of such demolition recovered from you."

Residents of the area said officials of the state came to the area on Monday to begin conduction of integrity test on buildings in the area.

At a news conference at the scene of the explosion, General Manager of the State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, said the agency had already demolished 12 buildings affected by the fire.

He said government had ordered integrity tests to be conducted on some buildings in the area believed to be in dilapidated form and that the results of the text would be made known to the public later.

Oke-Osanyintolu said clearing of the area would be concluded in less than two weeks after which fumigation exercise would take place and buildings examined unfit would be demolished while those with adjustment would be recommended for appropriate and necessary action.

He said when the incident occurred, officials of the state Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) visited the scene and conducted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on the area.

"Our work here is to make the area safe and calm, agencies like the LASEPA has carried out EIA of the explosion in the area, while the LASBCA and the State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) has been on ground to clear the debris and other waste items from the site.

"LASEMA is working to arrest incessant fire incidents in Lagos State. The Lagos State Government will soon come up with post disaster assessment on the explosion. Enumeration of people displaced as a result of the explosions had begun," he said.

Oke-Osanyintolu said government might render financial assistance to people affected by the explosions to cushion the impact of the disaster on them, but noted that it was not a form of compensation.

He thus appealed to Lagos residents to work with the government in order to arrest incessant fire incidents in the metropolis, saying they had "to do their own bit and be safety conscious. They have to educate their children to be safety conscious."

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