LAGOS State government has advised house owners and developers whose structures have been marked for demolition to remove them without delay, warning that they risk forfeiture of such properties if they failed to comply.
This was just as the state government commiserated with the families of the deceased, following the collapse of the 3-storey building at Ita- Faji, on Lagos Island in which a number of school pupils and others lost their lives, while several others were injured and are still receiving treatment in the hospital.
The State’s Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, gave the warning at the weekend in a statement made available to newsmen by the ministry’s Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Olubukola Nwonah, calling for the cooperation of members of the public in ridding the state of distressed structures.
Ogunleye pointed out that the ministry had identified 149 distressed and defective buildings in different parts of the State of which 40 had been demolished in the first phase, adding that 38 others were slated for the second phase prior to last week’s unfortunate incident.
“In some instances where the owners and occupiers have been duly served with statutory notices and evacuated, people secretly return to re-occupy the buildings despite the sealing of the structures by the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA),” the commissioner stated.
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Ogunleye assured that LASBCA would step up the ongoing removal of the affected buildings, adding that all parts of the state would be reached.
He warned that the state would invoke Section 74 of the Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law on forfeiture against any owner or developer whose negligence leads to building collapse, disclosing that the ministry, at the weekend, held meetings with various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on need for a holistic response to the present and future challenges posed by illegal developments and siting of unapproved schools.
According to him, in attendance were the Lagos State Safety Commission (LASSC), Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA), Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory (LSMTL), State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and officials of the Ministry of Education.
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