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LASBCA stalls on vow to demolish marked building

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THE Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) is yet to bring down a three-storey building at 5, Alayaki Lane, Lagos Island, which it has termed distressed and vowed to pull down last Thursday.

The ICIR visited the building, located off Freeman Street, today, Tuesday May 31, 2022 and saw the structure still standing, and labourers busy at work reconstructing some septic tanks that burst on the lane, although no worker was seen at work on the building itself.

LASBCA building
Repairs ongoing on the street drainage and septic tanks. Credit: Joseph Olaoluwa_The_ICIR

The LASBCA General Manager, Gbolahan Oki, had rattled residents of the area at the site of the building at No. 4, Alayaki Lane which collapsed penultimate weekend during heavy rains and killed four people.

Oki told the residents that the next building at No. 5, under construction, had been marked for demolition, and would be demolished immediately.

But residents on the lane, some of  whom had shops there, prevailed on the LASBCA boss to rescind his decision.

He then vowed to bring down the building on Thursday, May 26, 2022, warning that the building had not been cleared for further construction.

Oki said, “Did the government tell this family to build a structure very close? Is the government responsible for this kind of building? You, the families, divided a plot into seven parts and built properties. Most of the houses here are under septic tanks; by the time they collapse, the foundation would come down. We should stop using our monies to buy what would kill us.”

LASBCA boss addressing the crowd at the scene of building collapse at No. 4, Alayaki Lane, Lagos Island, on May 22, 2022. Photo credit: Joseph Olaoluwa_The_ICIR

Similarly, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Oluwafemi Oke-Osanyitolu, told reporters on Sunday, May 22, 2022 that the developer repainted the building, despite the fact that it failed material tests.

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Oke-Osanyintolu said, “While we were moving to ground zero, the officials of LASBCA discovered this structure at No. 5, Alayaki Lane here. If you look at it clearly, the structure had been marked. You know what they did, they painted it. And they continued building the structure.

“On the spot, we held meetings with key stakeholders, including the building controlling agencies and the local government engineers, and we discovered that this building must not be allowed to go for further development until it is subjected to integrity tests.”

Residents on the lane told The ICIR today that the owner of the building had gone into meetings with the LASBCA and the Lagos State Government over the agency’s decision to demolish it.

When our reporter asked to meet the owner, he was told he had taken the required paperwork to the LASBCA, as requested.

A resident on the lane, Mrs Arogundade, known in the area as Iya Toluade, said, “It was last year June that they began this building. It is still being constructed as nobody lives there. The landlord has taken the matter to Alausa. He has also begun to work on the street drainage, as well as the septic tanks that burst at the entrance of the street.”

Another resident, Kayode Funso-Kas, added, “They are still on the issue. The landlord took all the paperwork to Alausa. He is trying to speak with the government. But it has not been demolished till now.”

Our reporter observed during his visit to the building today that some cracked parts of it and holes that he saw on it two weekends ago had been plastered, while a fence there had also been reconstructed.

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When The ICIR called the Head, Public Affairs, at LASBCA, Adetayo Asagba, on phone for his comments on why LASBCA was stalling on its word to demolish the building, she promised to call back. She was, however, yet to do so at the time of filing this report.

Building on Alayaki lane still not brought down almost a week after the LASBCA vow. Cracked areas have been plastered. This photo was taken May 31, 2022. Credit: Joseph Olaoluwa_The_ICIR 

 

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Experienced Business reporter seeking the truth and upholding justice. Covered capital markets, aviation, maritime, road and rail, as well as economy. Email tips to jolaoluwa@icirnigeria.org. Follow on Twitter @theminentmuyiwa and on Instagram @Hollumuyiwah.

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