22nd May, 2013
In a bid to stem the incessant collapse of buildings in the state, the Lagos State government has banned developers from working on building construction on weekends, public holidays and at night.
Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Toyin Ayinde, disclosed this on Tuesday at a ministerial press conference in Alausa, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, lamenting that government had been inundated with cases of collapsed buildings across the state.
He said one common thing about these incidents was that the collapsed buildings were under construction and also located in obscure areas of the state.
“More worrisome is the fact that some unscrupulous developers and builders have decided to embark on illegal construction work at weekends, public holidays and even at night. This will no longer be tolerated.
“Consequently, the ministry will soon extend its service, especially monitoring, removal of illegal structures and arrest developers and their workers found on sites beyond the regular working hours so as to be able to tackle this unwholesome trend and behaviour head-on to stem the preponderance of these illegal activities appropriately,” he stated.
“It is true that these activities take place daily on our streets, roads, in our neighbourhood. The Ministry and its staff cannot comb the entire State 24/7 for illegal developments. I therefore use this medium today once again to solicit for the cooperation of members of the public to report any construction work whatsoever, at any level especially those taking place at odd times earlier mentioned to the ministry via phone calls, SMSs, e-mails immediately,” he added.
Ayinde said that the state government would soon begin compulsory integrity test on buildings and construction materials before construction in order to identify and remove distressed buildings.
He further disclosed that the government had identified about 407 uncompleted buildings abandoned by their owners across the state, saying such buildings would be confiscated.
“We have identified at least 407 abandoned building projects scattered around the state. Though some of the owners have commenced work on their abandoned buildings such as those located in Oniru Estate on the Island, we are applying appropriate sanctions to those abandoned and we are going to take the buildings over. These abandoned structures are threat to security. Hoodlums do take advantage by using them as hideouts,” he said.
Also, Ayinde called for the preparation and review of development plans across the state which would be aimed at directing and guiding the orderly development of urban and rural areas.
He stated that the ministry has become a veritable tool in the implementation of the state’s policy thrust on poverty eradication and sustainable economic growth through infrastructure renewal and development.
The commissioner added that the ministry operates on the vision of achieving a Lagos Megacity that is sustainable, organised, livable, business and tourism friendly, anchored on the strategic roadmap of mission to work towards a sustainable Physical Planning and Urban Development in order to provide an enabling environment for socio-economic activities through a dedicated work force.
He disclosed that in the past four to six years, the state government, through the ministry, had embarked on the preparation, implementation and review of development plans for the following areas: Lekki, Badagry, Mainland, Alimosho, Apapa, Agege, Ifako-Ijaiye, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Ikorodu and Epe, stressing that while the implementation of the master plan for some of these areas had already been completed, some were still being implemented.