11th July, 2011
The Lagos State Government has vowed to prosecute developers of illegally erected buildings that collapse in any part of the state.
Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Toyin Ayinde, stated that most of the collapsed buildings witnessed in recent times were as a result of inadequate and low quality building materials used during construction.
â€œHenceforth, any visibly distressed building in Lagos State would be thoroughly examined and based on the result of the test, evacuation of lives and property will be effected before eventual removal of any such building, while the developer will also be prosecuted according to the law,â€ he warned. Ayinde, who visited the site of the four-storey collapsed building at Mogaji Close, Idumota area of Lagos, observed that some of the distressed buildings were built years back without approval when building laws were not in place.
He warned that the era of indiscriminate erection of buildings was over as the state government would no longer tolerate unlawful construction to ensure the safety of lives and properties of the citizens and to nip in the bud re-occurrence of such incidences in the near future.
According to him, part of the steps to be the taken by the state government is the enactment of the 2010 Physical Planning, Urban Development and Building Control Law of Lagos State which had provided the creation of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA).
The agency will ensure the enforcement of building control regulations where all buildings above one storey must come with insurance policy certificate before approval is given.
Warning the citizens of Lagos State not to occupy any derelict building and to be vigilant when it comes to issues of renting buildings, either for residential or commercial purposes, Ayinde stated that distressed buildings constituted threat to lives.
The commissioner revealed that a building’s plan approval could be revoked, stressing that the state government would not hesitate to revoke earlier issued building plan approvals from any developer who deviated from stipulated government guidelines after approval had been granted.
He said it had been discovered that most developers, upon obtaining building plan approval from government, go ahead to change the designs and specifications of buildings in order to reap more profit.