As the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) begins the demolition of about 57 distressed buildings to curb the rate of building collapse in Lagos, residents of the buildings lament.
On Monday morning, officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) along with some policemen stormed the Island and began the demolition of the affected buildings.
As at 12 noon on Monday, the 28th of August 2017, residents of the affected buildings stormed the office of the Lagos State Governor and the House of Assembly to make their complaints about the demolitions of their buildings.
Most of the affected buildings were on Lagos Island. Those that were at Alausa Ikeja were mainly residents of Lagoon View Estate, along Ibeshe Road, Ikorodu.
The people that protested were mainly the youths and the aged including a nursing mother and an 87-year-old woman. The residents carried placards with different inscriptions on them.
They claimed that their residence was invaded by officials of the state Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development with bulldozers who came without informing them ahead and 16 buildings were demolished.
The General Manager, LASBCA, Mr Lekan Shodehinde, said the owners of the distressed buildings have been served notice over time.
He said the demolition was the first phase of the exercise and that it is approved by the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
He added: “We have commenced the demolition exercise, starting with 13 buildings, on Monday; and the exercise would last for two weeks.”
Mr Shodehinde mentioned that about 114 buildings have been identified by the agency and should be demolished.
The General Manager pointed out that due to the failure of building owners to remove their structures on their own in the past that they refused to comply with instructions, the government can no longer wait for them.
Mr Shodehinde said that after the demolition of a distressed building by the government, the owner of the building will be given 90 days to pay the cost for demolition but failure to do so will make the government seize the land.
He, however, mentioned that before demolishing the buildings, the owners will be given enough time to correct the situation.
Part of what they should do is to subject the property to integrity test. He added that after the test is done any property still unsafe will be demolished.