Lagos govt to demolish 17 ‘distressed’ buildings in Alaba market

THE Lagos state government is set to demolish 17 distressed buildings used for commercial purposes at the Alaba International Market, Ojo.

The general manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Gbolahan Oki, disclosed the planned demolition and gave the final warning and vacation notices to the occupants of the affected buildings during an assessment visit to the market on Friday, June 16.

According to Oki, the planned demolition was meant to save lives, adding that the government valued the lives of residents more than the cost of any property.

The LASBCA chief said the occupants had received multiple notices since 2016, but rather than take the required measures, chose to physically harass LASBCA’s officials.

Oki, condemning the spate of harassment, said that seven years’ notification was enough for the occupants of the buildings marked for demolition to have vacated the structures and comply with the notices issued by LASBCA and other government agencies.

 

He added that the agency had to seek the help of the Lagos State Task Force to avoid further attacks from the occupants.

“These buildings marked within this Alaba International Market would have been included in the list of 349 distressed building earlier published in different national newspapers this year but because the occupants were always harassing our officers, it was impossible to capture the details of the structures and include them in the publication.

“What we have done now is a joint exercise carried out by both the Lagos Task Force officers and the demolition gang of the Lagos State Building Control Agency.

“The demolition of the distressed buildings within the ALABA International Market has become an urgent and essential task due to the potential hazards they present to nearby structures and the safety of the market’s business community.






     

     

    “We know that this area is a commercial centre and one of the busiest markets in Lagos State, but despite this, we cannot fold our arms and allow irregularities to continue to thrive in the market where lives of innocent persons would be put at risk because of the failure of a few set of individuals who have refused to do the needful,” he said.

    Oki pleaded with Lagosians to always inform the relevant government agencies about distressed buildings and infractions noticed in their neighborhoods.

    Oki further warned all Lagos residents and property owners to desist from patronising touts and impostors for processing of building approvals in an attempt to subvert due process.

    He stressed that LASBCA would not spare any effort in pulling down identified distressed structures.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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