Lagos—As measure to stem cases of collapsed building in Lagos state, the government, yesterday, commenced demolition of 114 identified distressed buildings in the state. It was learnt that 57 of the 114 distressed buildings marked for demolition would be pulled down during first phase of the exercise. It was gathered that officials of Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, stormed Lagos Island, where at least 34 of the buildings were sited, at about 10 am and commenced the demolition.
A top government officials disclosed to newsmen that larger percent of the building being demolished ranged from two-storey to four-storey buildings. Confirming the demolition exercise, General Manager, LASBCA, Lekan Shodehinde, disclosed that the distressed buildings on the Island were captured under the first phase of the exercise approved by the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode. Shodehinde said the buildings had been distressed overtime and that government had served owners of the structures notices. He said the exercise was being carried out to stem tides of collapsed buildings in the State, saying that government would not fold its arm and allow buildings to collapse indiscriminately across the metropolis. Shodehinde disclosed that the agency had identified 114 of such distressed buildings that needed to be demolished across the metropolis, adding that the others would be demolished during the second phase of the exercise. He stated that government would no longer wait for owners of distressed buildings to remove them on their own as experience had shown that such owners did not always remove such structures. Shodehinde explained that once a distressed building had been demolished by the government, the owner would be given 90 days to pay the demolition cost, failure of which government would seize the land. He said before a building would be demolished, the owner would be given ample time to remedy the situation, which included subjecting the property to integrity test. The LASBCA General Manager stated that if after the test had been carried out and the property was found to be unsafe, it would be demolished.