BCPG laments rising cases of building collapse in Ikoyi

The Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), Ikoyi-Obalende Cell, has lamented incidents of building collapse in Ikoyi, Lagos State.

.Tasks Tinubu on restoration of national monuments

The Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), Ikoyi-Obalende Cell, has lamented incidents of building collapse in Ikoyi, Lagos State.
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It noted that in the past, Ikoyi was a focal point of cosmopolitan development in the state and building collapse was a rare phenomenon because of strict adherence to building regulations.

The group, in an urgent letter to President Bola Tinubu, also drew his attention to the deteriorating state of some national monuments/Federal Government property within its Ikoyi oversight area.

According to BCPG, while the remarkable transformation Ikoyi has undergone from its historical roots as a residential area for British colonial officials and expatriates is commendable, it is regrettable that the area has experienced five incidents of building collapse in the recent past.
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It said: “The first reported case of building collapse in Ikoyi was at 6A, Milverton Close, in 2006. The building collapsed as a result of the dilapidation of the car park steel beams. Lack of maintenance was the cause of the first building collapse in Ikoyi.

“The second incident was the collapse of a semi-detached residential building at 19a & 19b, HFB Way, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, on April 18, 2015, caused by the explosion of a cooking gas cylinder.
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“The third happened on November 1, 2019, when a building under construction collapsed at Glover Court. The project was in its third storey with columns in place for subsequent floor(s) when it collapsed, claiming the life of one person.

“The fourth was the tragic collapse of a 20-storey (wrongfully described as 21-storey) building on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, on November 1, 2021, killing about 52 persons.

“The fifth was the collapse of the proposed nine-storey building (including the penthouse) while construction work was ongoing on its seventh floor (this was widely reported as a seven-storey building) at Plot L15 and L16, Close 102, First Avenue, Banana Island, on April 12, 2023, taking the life of one person.

“It is our earnest prayer that such preventable tragedies would not occur during your tenure as the President of this nation. From our analysis, we observed that in all the cases of collapse during construction in Ikoyi in the past four years, all of them were built by developers.
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“A worrisome common denominator for these three buildings that collapsed under construction was the obvious flouting of building regulations with no government officials held accountable, contrary to the outcomes of investigations.”

In the letter signed by its coordinator and secretary, Bola Arilesere and Adebola Adeyera, respectively, the Ikoyi-Obalende Cell of BCPG urged the President to urgently restore blighted national monuments in the area.

While commending the remarkable transformation that Ikoyi has undergone from its historical roots as a residential area for British colonial officials and expatriates, the group called President Bola Tinubu’s attention to building and services maintenance. Mr. President, horrors of building collapse witnessed are preventable.
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It recalled that during President Tinubu’s visit to the gory site of building collapse on Gerard Road, Ikoyi on November 6, 2021, he addressed the rescuers and BCPG representatives on ground and sympathised with Lagosians.

“There is the need to curtail the excesses of unscrupulous developers with no regard for quality and human lives.

“Building occupants and owners, including the federal government, should also be seen to demonstrate this commitment to building maintenance.
“Some neglected Federal Government buildings in our neighbourhood have become havens for criminals, illicit drug peddlers, squatters, and illegal occupants, tarnishing the reputation of Ikoyi.

“We are concerned that lack of occupancy and regular maintenance are contributing to their faster dilapidation.
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“We also know that steel scrap thieves and vandals are becoming widespread. Steel structural components in abandoned buildings and under bridges have become their target. Hence, blighted Federal Government buildings could be at risk over time.

“Notable among these abandoned Federal Government buildings is the multi-storey Federal Secretariat Complex, Ikoyi, an expired symbol of national pride in its prime.

“Also, we have the Ikoyi Towers (an equally Federal Government property, comprising three blocks of 12 floors labelled A, B, and C behind the abandoned Federal Secretariat).

“These multi-billion public investments should not be allowed to go to waste, especially at a time when the affordable housing sector is in crisis.”
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