The Lagos State Government on Saturday commenced the demolition of distressed buildings in the Ebute-Metta area of the State.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Oluyinka Olumide led the demolition exercise in the company of the General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Arc. Gbolahan Oki.
Olumide said that the affected buildings, mostly on Oloto and Freeman Streets, had been served notices, while some were requested to conduct structural investigations to ascertain their integrity.
He said that the government was compelled to resort to the demolition of the structures to protect lives as most of the buildings failed the structural integrity test.
His words, “The primary responsibility of government is to protect lives, so we can not wait and allow the buildings to collapse and kill people before doing something about them”.
He stressed that the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu would continue to cherish the lives of residents of the state, regardless of their tribe or religion, stressing that the life of every Lagosian is of great value, and could not be traded for financial or any sort of political gain.
The Commissioner decried the situation in which occupants of affected buildings refused to evacuate the buildings after enough notice, adding that they should know that life is more important than the buildings.
He enjoined owners of distressed buildings to take the initiative of pulling down the structures by themselves and not wait for the government to do so as the government would confiscate any land where it removed distressed structures.
The General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Arc. Gbolahan Oki added that the demolition of distressed structures in the area had become a necessity, considering the danger that the buildings posed to other adjoining structures and the lives of other residents in the area.
“We cannot fold our arms and allow irregularities to continue to thrive in this area, where lives of innocent people would be at risk because of the lackadaisical attitude of a few individuals who have refused to do the right thing”, he said.
Oki also appealed to Lagosians to feel free to always inform the government about distressed buildings and other physical planning infractions noticed within their neighbourhoods.
The Vice-Chairman, Lagos Mainland Local Government, Hon. Jubril Emilagba, who was present at the scene, acknowledged the efforts of the State Government in combating the menace of building collapse across the State.