Less than 24 hours after firing top officials of its building control agency, the Lagos State government yesterday ordered the closure of Lekki Gardens over the collapse of one of its buildings, that killed 34 people, reports The Guardian.
During a visit to the site of the collapsed five-storey building yesterday, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode ordered that the entire estate be evacuated within 14 days, while the site should be completely cordoned off for security reasons.
The governor has also ordered that integrity test be conducted on all estates owned and managed by the Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited across the state, “to prevent them from killing other people.”
Ambode, who commiserated with people who lost their loved ones in the collapse, said he had constituted a five-man committee to examine the Urban and Regional Planning Law of the state as it affects the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA).
The committee, headed by Dr. Moses Olubunmi Ajayi, a past President of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners and Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria, will also examine the operations of LASBCA and make recommendations for changes that will ensure effective service delivery.
The committee will, within four weeks, recommend restructuring of the organisation and appropriate manpower for effective operation of LASBCA. It will study the legal and operational issues affecting the functioning of the Materials Testing Laboratory.
Other members of the committee are: the President of the Nigerian Institute of Structural Engineers, Ore Fadayomi; Yetunde Ajayi; general manager of Lagos State Planning Authority (LASSPA) and secretary of LASBCA as secretary of the committee.
Governor Ambode stated; “In the meantime, the state government will undertake a stability test on all other buildings constructed by the developer in the state, whether occupied or not, to ascertain their structural stability.
“The developer will pay the cost of the tests. Any building found to be defective would be demolished. For those that pass the integrity test, the developer will pay a penalty for any overdevelopment on the site.”
According to him, the government intends to carry out an audit of all structures in Lagos to ascertain those with planning approval or not and evaluate the physical development against the approved building plans. The details of this initiative are being worked out.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has raised a failure analysis committee to determine the extent of involvement of engineers in the ill-fated building.
The President of NSE, Otis Anyaeji, who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday on the sidelines of the group’s stakeholders workshop on sustainable development goals, said the NSE was expecting a report from the committee very soon.
While restraining from blaming any particular professional for the collapse of the building, Anyaeji explained that failures were caused by different factors, which could be design, construction or materials.To this end, he hinted that the Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) was now working on regulating the activities of the sellers of building materials.
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