21st June, 2012
The house numbering project in Lagos, which will be carried out soon by the Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency, LASAA, is commendable and must not be allowed to fail.
The project, if successfully completed, will gladden millions of people and put an end to years of confusion in locating property, including residences, factories, hospitals or police stations.
In case of an emergency, it will help rescuers such as fire fighters or officials of the National Emergency Agency, NEMA, to access any area in need on time and save lives and property.
More than 700,000 houses will be renumbered, according to Mr. George Kayode Noah, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of LASAA.
The project, meant to create a uniform and orderly house numbering system, will be vast and may take a couple of years but it must be done diligently. The project is paid for by the Lagos State Government and will be carried out by at least 400 staff.
The plaque, a reflective engineering sheet, measuring 254 x 254mm, with 3mm thickness, will be installed with anodised bolts. The house number plaque will have the street name and the number for each house on the named street as well as the crest of the Lagos State Government and the inscription: Property of Lagos State Government. The sample of the plaque was presented to journalists on Tuesday and it looked impressive. The plaques, to be installed first in Surulere Local Government Area, will be clearly visible from the road or street and will not be lower than four feet or higher than six feet from the ground level for proper identification.
The benefits, according to the government, include the provision of a convenient, accurate and systematic means of property identification as well as the facilitation of emergency responses in the state. It is also to establish a property identification that will serve as mail delivery addresses and generate data for government for proper planning.
All property owners will have to remove all old numbers, inscriptions or plaques within a period of 365 days after the installation of a new plaque. These are all lofty ideals that may become reality if the project does not go the way a similar project went years ago with nothing concrete being achieved.
We commend the state government for another attempt to bring sanity and orderliness to Lagos and call on those who will be involved in the project to be diligent, honest and understand that the benefits are for all of us.
Lagos is a mega city with about 18 million people and many roads and streets with also attendant challenges of locating them. Emergency services sometimes find it hard to locate buildings because of the chaos surrounding their location due to muddled up numbers or confusing street names.
On some streets or roads, different buildings, located far apart bear the same number. This is unacceptable in the city of excellence that Lagos aspires to become. We call on LASAA to engage in massive awareness campaigns including newspaper adverts, radio and television jingles to educate the people about the numbering exercise. It is only when people are carried along that such developmental projects could succeed.