Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) sets to remove 11 critically distressed buildings in Ojo, Alaba International Market. These structures have been deemed unsafe and pose a significant risk to the lives and properties of the occupants and the surrounding areas.
The decision to remove these buildings comes early 2022 when LASBCA first served multiple statutory notices and quit notices to the occupants, urging them to vacate the premises for their own safety and report also revealed that Lagos Ministry of Environment (MOE) has also been serving the occupants notices as far back as 2016.
Unfortunately, the occupants have consistently refused to comply with these directives, thereby necessitating the intervention of the enforcement team.
The enforcement team, comprising officials from LASBCA and the Lagos Task Forces, conducted the operation on Friday, the 16th of June 2023. Their primary objective was to ensure the evacuation of the occupants of the buildings and secure the area from any potential disasters that could arise from the structural instability.
Arc. Gbolahan Owodunni Oki, the General Manager of LASBCA, expressed grave concerns about the precarious condition of the distressed buildings. He emphasized the agency’s commitment to safeguarding lives and properties within the state by taking proactive measures against hazardous structures.
Oki further highlighted the potential dangers associated with the 11 buildings in question. These structures exhibited signs of dilapidation, including cracks on the walls, weakened foundations, and compromised structural integrity. Such conditions increase the risk of collapse, which could result in tragic consequences if left unaddressed.
Oki also highlighted an alarming issue surrounding the occupants and owners of the distressed buildings in Ojo, Alaba International Market. He stated that these individuals often resorted to hiring touts or thugs to attack agency officials, thereby impeding the process of identifying and capturing the affected buildings.
These challenges hinder efforts of the agency from capturing the affected buildings among the 349 distressed buildings published earlier this year in the national dailies. This obstacle has also hindered the agency’s efforts in addressing the larger problem of distressed buildings in the area.
It is deeply concerning that such violent measures to prevent the enforcement of building regulations. This not only puts the lives of agency officials at risk but also demonstrates a disregard for the safety and well-being of the occupants and the public at large, Oki stated.
The removal of these critically distressed buildings aligns with LASBCA’s mandate to enforce building regulations and promote safety standards in Lagos State. The agency is dedicated to identifying and addressing potential hazards in structures to protect the populace and maintain the structural integrity of the state’s infrastructure.
In recent years, Lagos State has witnessed various incidents of building collapses, leading to loss of lives and properties. LASBCA’s efforts to remove the distressed buildings in Ojo, Alaba International Market are part of a broader initiative to prevent such tragedies and create a safer environment for residents and businesses.
The removal of these distressed buildings sends a strong message about the importance of adhering to building regulations and maintaining the safety of structures. It serves as a reminder to property owners and occupants that their compliance with safety standards is vital to prevent potential disasters and protect lives.
LASBCA’s decision to remove the 11 critically distressed buildings in Ojo, Alaba International Market is a proactive step toward averting potential disasters. By prioritizing the safety of the occupants and the surrounding areas, the agency is fulfilling its responsibility to enforce building regulations and create a safer environment for all residents of Lagos State.