Collapse: Govt to prosecute Lagos Island mast owner

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Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

The Lagos State Government has disclosed plans to investigate and prosecute the owner of the mast at the collapsed building site on Massey Street, Lagos Island.

Residents of the street and other eyewitnesses had alleged that the mast, which was erected about two weeks before, might have contributed to the collapse of the four-storey building last Tuesday, leaving at least eight people dead.

The General Manager, Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency, Mr. Babajide Odekunle, said the mast was illegal and did not have a permit from the agency.

The GM said the collapsed building itself was a bungalow and was raised over the years without the necessary permits.

He said, “LASIMRA, as an agency of government, did not grant permit for the said tower to be erected, it is clearly an illegal structure, which was not captured in our database.

“This agency will not grant permit to any of the structures in that neighbourhood. The process for getting a permit for rooftop mast is delicate and if we are not convinced, we will not grant such a permit and we are going to clamp down on the owner and others. There will certainly be a penalty”

 Odekunle noted that from the agency’s records, no permit had been issued for rooftop masts in the last four months.

He stated that the greatest challenge being faced by the agency was indiscriminate mast erection.

“We have been doing public awareness on the need for companies to get permits for their masts. In the last four months, we have dismantled about 91 in Ikeja, with the intention of moving to other parts of the state, but we have shifted attention to Lagos Island because of its peculiarity,” he added.

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