15 March 2019

Nigeria: 1,000 Buildings Under Threat of Collapse On Lagos Island

Photo: Kayode Oladapo/Premium Times
A rescue team search for more victims from the scene of a building, which collapsed at Itafaji on the Lagos Island on Wednesday.

With Lagos residents yet to recover from the shock arising from the collapse of a three-storey building on Wednesday, there are worrisome revelations that another 1,000 structures on Lagos Island alone may go the same way except prompt action is taken.

In the incident, 12 pupils were recovered dead and 45 others rescued alive from the rubble of the col-lapsed building in the Ita-Faaji area of Lagos Island.

Mr. Kunle Awobodu, the national president, Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), disclosed yes-terday in Lagos that there are over 1,000 buildings unfit for human habitation on the Lagos Island.

He said that BCPG had already brought such distressed buildings to the notice of the Lagos State Build-ing Control Agency (LASBCA) for demolition.

He spoke against the backdrop of the collapse of a three-storey building located at Massey Street, Ita-Faaji, Lagos Island, on Wednesday which killed some school pupils with many others injured.

According to him, the collapsed building was one of the structures that were unfit for human habita-tion in Lagos Island.

Awobodu said: "There are over 1,000 distressed other buildings of this nature in Lagos, which, if noth-ing is done to demolish them, they will still collapse, resulting to more calamities in the state.

"The collapsed building had been marked for demolition about three times, but the building regulatory agency has not demolished it. We are moving round the circle and this has to stop.

"Let the building control agency take the bull by the horn, by ensuring that all distressed buildings in the state are identified and demolished.

"Let the state government look for preventive measures, rather than spending money for evacuation, investigation, and remediation after the calamities and damages have occurred," Awobodu said.

He said that all the agencies responsible for monitoring buildings should be more proactive in discharg-ing their mandates if the issue of building collapse must stop.

Similarly, Mr. Adelaja Adekanmbi, the chairman, Nigeria Institute of Building (NIOB), Lagos State chap-ter, has called for a town hall Meeting, comprising the government, professionals, developers, and end-users in the built environment.

Adekanmbi said that the meeting was necessary as a platform for comprehensive deliberation among the players on how to tackle the issue of building collapse in Lagos.

Meanwhile, the general manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Adeshina Tiamiyu, has said that there was no casualty left under the debris of the collapsed building in the Ita-Faaji area of Lagos Island.

Tiamiyu spoke with journalists at the site of the incident yesterday morning.

"We stopped work at 3am after recovering the lifeless body of a male and we are sure there is no cas-ualty left under the debris," he said.

Tiamiyu, however, said that he could not give the casualty figure but the Ministry of Health would re-lease the accurate figure later.

However, some residents have faulted the claims of LASEMA, insisting that there were still casualties in the debris

The building, which housed a primary school on its second floor, caved in on Wednesday morning while pupils were in their classrooms.

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