Lagos Identifies 149 Distressed Buildings, Demolishes 40`

Commissioner for Physical Planning & Urban Development, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye (2nd left); addressing the media during the on-going Y2018 ministerial press briefing as part of activities to commemorate the third Year in Office of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, on Monday, April 30, 2018. With him: Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan (2nd right); Special Adviser to the Governor on Information & Strategy, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku (right) and his counter on Urban Development, Mrs. Yetunde Onabule (left).

The Lagos State Government on Monday disclosed that it has identified 149 distressed buildings across the State in the last one year, out of which 40 have been demolished.

Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye disclosed this at a ministerial press conference in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

He added that in the next phase,  38 other defective structures had been earmarked for demolition, as government would not tolerate cases of collapsed buildings in any part of the State.

“In a systematic approach to curtail occurrences of building collapse, 149 distressed building were identified at different locations of which 40 of such have been removed while the next phase of 38 structurally defective structures have been earmarked for removal. Others would follow suite to safeguard lives and property,” he said.

Ogunleye also revealed that the Ministry embarked on an Intensive Audit, through the Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory (LSMTL) and visited the 57 Local Government/Council Development Areas of the State to inspect both on-going construction sites and completed buildings suspected to be distressed.

“Consequently, 1,842 sites were visited, 1,392 test advice notices were served and information on buildings identified as distressed were forwarded to the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) for necessary action,” he stated.

The commissioner said in last year’s briefing, the Ministry announced the embargo on the development of Petrol Filling Stations (PFS) in the State so as to take inventory and review requirements geared towards safety of lives and property, and orderly development.

“Taking into account the recent explosion of 2 (two) Gas Plants in the State, a more comprehensive revision to include gas plants was deemed necessary. This exercise is nearing completion with inputs from relevant MDAs of Government. Once completed, a Public Notice would be issued.

“With regards to illegal, unsafe, non-conforming developments, the activities of unscrupulous developers continue to pose a lot of challenges to Government. However, all hands are on deck to control their operations by continuous monitoring and enforcement as well as utilizing the Whistle Blowing Policy which provides an avenue for stakeholders to expose any kind of information or development activity that is deemed illegal, unethical, or non-conforming.

“The Ministry urges all Lagosians to report distressed buildings, illegal and non-conforming developments to the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) and Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory (LSMTL) through our Helplines on our handbills,” he said.

On other activities of the Ministry, Ogunleye said eight Master and Model City plans have so far been developed for Lekki, Badagry, Ikoyi-Victoria Island, Ikeja, Alimosho, Mainland Central, Apapa and Agege-Ifako, while additional four to be ready in second quarter of 2018 were being prepared for Epe, Ikorodu, Oshodi-Isolo and Revised Ikeja Model City Plan, as well as in Kosofe.

He said from April 2017 to March 14, 2018, a total of 2,023 planning permit applications were received with 1,237 approved and others at various stages of processing, while due to adoption of technology to fast-track the process through the Electronic Planning Permit (e-pp) Platform, applicants can now have their permits within ten days.

He said in order to clear backlog of applications and to encourage regularization of developments without permit, the State Government has also granted six months amnesty starting from March 1 to August 31, 2018, advising property owners to fully utilize the opportunity.

On the relocation of Okobaba Sawmill in Ebute-Metta to modern Sawmill at Timberville, Agbowa in Ikosi Ejirin LCDA, Ogunleye said the project was now ready for operational take-off save for provision of additional transformers and link road, adding that government was currently working with relevant stakeholders on modalities of movement of their equipment to the new site.

He added that the relocation of Mile 12 Market to Imota was taking longer than projected due to topography challenges and expansion of the scope of the project to accommodate other markets, assuring that it would however be completed by the second quarter of 2018.

On Katangowa ICT Park, Ogunleye said the project would commence with upgrading of roads to the site, adding that the project would remove the chaos currently associated with Computer Village, Ikeja.

 “When ready, the project would be the biggest ICT Park in West Africa and will offer 4,000 shops, exhibition halls, hotel, industrial park, warehouses, keeklamps, helipad, malls, banking halls, parking lots, conference centre, food courts, security and power, among others,” he said.