The reported collapse of a six-floor building in Lekki Gardens in Eti-Osa Local Government on 8th March, 2016 where 34 people lost their lives and dozens have been injured is one building collapse too many.
I am therefore addressing you today with a heavy heart as I commiserate with all those that have suffered loss and injury.
The responsibility of any Government is to ensure the safety of lives and property of its citizens and this Government is determined not to fail in that duty.
Since the unfortunate collapse, the State Government has taken the following steps:
- Ordered the immediate sealing of the construction site and cessation of further construction.
- Ensured the co-ordinated emergency rescue of all injured victims and treatment at its hospitals.
- Ordered the owners of the collapsed building to submit themselves to the Police. I understand that they submitted themselves and are currently helping the Police with their investigations.
In addition, some government officials have been relieved of their duties.
I want to assure you that there will no longer be any sacred cows. If there is failure of duty, there will be sanctions.
I also want to seize this opportunity to assure Lagosians that the State Government will do everything within its powers to check the excesses of Developers who flout its regulations and will restore efficiency and confidence in the building control and supervision process.
To this end the State Government has established a 5 (Five) man committee under the Chairmanship of TPL (Dr) Moses Olubunmi Ajayi, a past President of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners and Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria.
Other members of the committee are:
- Engineer Ore Fadayomi – the President of the Nigerian Institute of Structural engineers
- Architect (Mrs) Yetunde O. Ajayi (Retired Permanent Secretary)
- General Manager Lagos State Planning Authority (LASSPA) and
- Secretary of Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) as Secretary of the Committee.
The committee is to:
- Examine the Urban and Regional Planning Law of the State as it affects LASBCA
- Examine the operations of LASBCA and make recommendations for changes that will ensure effective service delivery.
- Recommend organizational re-structure and appropriate manpower for effective operation of LASBCA.
- Study the legal and operational issues affecting the functioning of the Materials Testing Laboratory.
- All other matters that will enhance the efficient functioning of the two organizations.
They will submit their report in 4 weeks.
In the meantime, the State Government will undertake a stability test on all other buildings constructed by the Developer in the State, whether occupied or not, to ascertain their structural stability. The Developer will pay the cost of the tests. Any building found to be defective would be demolished. For those that pass the integrity test the developer will pay a penalty for any overdevelopment on the site.
Further to the above, the State Government intends to carry out an audit of all structures in Lagos to ascertain those with planning approval or not and evaluate the physical development against the approved building plans. The details of this initiative are being finalized and you will be briefed in due course.
Finally, let me reiterate that Lagos is open to business for those who must comply with the State laws and regulations in order to prosper.
Our main concern is to continue to improve on the ease of doing business and uphold the Rule of Law at all times.
Those who choose non-compliance and defiance will henceforth face the full weight of the law without fear or favour.
Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode
Governor of Lagos State,
15th March, 2016.