18 March 2019

Nigeria: What I'll Do About Building Collapse in Lagos - Sanwo-Olu

The Lagos State Governor-elect, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has suggested regeneration of Lagos Island as a solution to building collapse in the densely-populated highbrow area of the city.

Mr Sanwo-Olu stated this when he paid a courtesy visit to President Mohammadu Buhari alongside his deputy-elect, Obafemi Hamsat, in Abuja on Monday.

Mr Sanwo-Olu, who polled 739,445 votes to defeat Jimi Agbaje of the PDP, was declared the winner in the 2019 governorship and state houses of assembly election in Lagos State.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how a three-storey building housing a children's school collapsed at Massey Street, Lagos Island, last week, killing about 20 people.

According to the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), at least 40 pupils, including 10 dead bodies were pulled out of the rubble on Wednesday.

However, following the directive of the governor, officials of the state's building control agency, led by its acting general manager, Omotayo Fakolujo, have begun the demolition of 80 buildings earlier marked for demolition.

Also, there was confusion that another building collapsed in the Lagos Island area of Lagos around noon on Monday.

Mr Sanwo-Olu said while Lagos Island needs regeneration, the people must see a sincerity of purpose on the government's part before they can accept regeneration.

"When you want to take people's properties and you want to regenerate, they must first see a sincerity of purpose - what are the additional plans that you have for them?"

Mr Sanwo-Olu said the government must have a strong model for regeneration to survive.

"Regeneration can be done in two ways; It could be in form of which when you come back, you have part of it; or you turn it into equity. So it depends on whatever model you are working round to ensure that it works," he said.

He said it is essential to let the people know you are not out to circumvent them or to shortchange them or to bring about things in which there will be desolation.

"So, it's to have a conversation right round all the families and we will see the kind of redevelopment that is important as it's built on in a lot of other big cities like Lagos," he said.

Reacting to the building collapse in Lagos State last week, the governor-elect said it is an unfortunate incident.

"Even when I was in government before, I used to be the vice chairman on building collapse. It was something that was about ten years ago which is what led to us creating an agency called LABCA, after it was meant to begin to identify structures well ahead before issues like this begin to happen," he concluded.

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