Fear Grips Property Owners, Occupants   At Ebute Metta And Other Parts Lagos State Over Demolition

 By Lateef Adegbite

This is not the best of times for Landlords and tenants living in properyies in Ebute Metta and other parts of Lagos, the nation’s Commercial centre, earmarked for demotion by the state Building Control Agency, LASBCA.

Worried by the frequency of buildings collapse in the state, Oluyinka Olumide, the state Commissioner of Physical Planning and Urban Development at the instance of Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor was said to have given a matching order to LASCBA,to demolish  the structures that   had failed ‘’ the government  structural integrity interest  to protect lives and property.

Samwo-Olu: Governor of Lagos state

An informed source told The Value News that the Leadership  of the LASBCA, who  do not usually  go ahead with the state government  order  to demolish underlisted buildings were said to have served the property  owners and occupants  of  all the necessary  enforcement  notices  in accordance  with  the south western state   Urban and Regional  Development ( amendment),  edit of  2019,  that was said to have been signed into Law by the incumbent governor of the state, Sanwo-Olu, as part of efforts to address the problem of  frequent collapse of buildings  due to their distressed conditions.

 It was reported that between 2019 and now, 45 houses in different part of the state had been earmarked out for demolition due ‘’to poor structural design, poor compliance with engineering drawings and specifications, use of substandard building material, inadequate supervision of construction work and poor quality control.

 Other identified reasons for the frequent collapse of buildings in the state include illegal diversion /alteration /addition to existing structure, poor construction and   poor maintenance of the building. This is in addition to the lack of genuine geotechnical information about the underlying soil.    

Until  the Lagos state government embarked on the demotion  of  the distressed  buildings  in the popular  Oyingbo area, Ebute  Metta, Olumide, the state Commissioner of Physical Planning and Urban Development   had  said   that the occupants  of the affected buildings  were served  notices but refused to vacate  them to dare the government.

The Commissioner noted that the state government could not have waited and allow the distressed buildings which had been shortlisted for demotion to collapse and kill people before taking action. Appealing to owners of buildings marked for demotions to take the bold initiative of pulling down the structures or wait to bear the cost and lose the land if the government should bring down the distressed building.  

A resident of the Oyingbo area who spoke to Th Magazine on condition of anonymity disclosed that officials of the state ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development had beamed their searchlight on the  distressed  buildings in the entire Lagos Mainland, when  a building  which had partially collapsed  at Oloto Street, Borno Way , Ebute Metta, which   was  earmarked  for demolition but the owner failed to  pull it down until it finally collapsed.  

Olumide, the state Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development may have sent a signal to property  owners and their  occupants at Oyingbo, particular,  that all identified  distressed  buildings in the area   by  LASBCA,  would be pull down.  

Many believe that if the Oyingbo building occupants   had complied with the LASBCA directive to vacate the premises to mitigate   the potential danger,   the agency would have adopted option B, by putting pressure on the property owner to pull it down without  waiting for the government agency to do it.

The agency may have started with the manual removal of a non-conforming building situated at Igbehin aAdun street, Makoko, Yaba last May.  The property developer was said to have failed ‘’to adhere to the state building Codes and regulations as well as obtain the requisite   permits before embarking on the building project.  

 Given the importance attached to the demolition of the distressed buildings in Lagos, President Bola Abhed home state, Gbolahan Oki, the LASBCA, General Manager was said to have supervised demolition of the Yaba  property to ensure that the right thing was done.

The demolition of the Ebute Metta and Yaba buildings may have emboldened Oki, the LASCBA General Manager to declare  that’’ it would continue  ‘’to do its  best by  intensifying  its  monitoring activities  in the state  to identify more distressed buildings for demolition’’

 The destruction of a two-storey building by the agency  in the Lagos state  Development Property Company, LSDPC, at Meiran Estate   alleged to be unsuitable for human habitation clearly shows  that  the agency which has the backing of Olumide, the  state Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development  has taken the  proactive measures  by demolishing  distressed buildings in the state , irrespective of the developer,  as part of strategy  to restore sanity  and find a lasting solution  to  flooding in some parts of the state.

The demolition of a N55 million  semi-detached  duplex  built  on a drainage  channel at the Lekki phase II and other buildings at  Ikota area  of the state  by  the state ministry of Environment, meaning that the state ministries of Physical Planning and Urban Development and Environment are involved  in the demolition exercise  which had brought  pains and misery to many in the last two years of Sam-wo-Olu’s Administration.    

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *