Lagos collapsed buildings
12 May 2023 | 2:20 am
It is high time the Lagos State Government beamed a searchlight on the recurring incidences of building collapse in the state, which has over the years claimed many lives and properties worth billions of naira
SIR: It is high time the Lagos State Government beamed a searchlight on the recurring incidences of building collapse in the state, which has over the years claimed many lives and properties worth billions of naira.
The latest one is a three-storey building under construction in Apapa, which collapsed after a heavy downpour some weeks ago. Thankfully, no lives were lost.
Lagos is the headquarters of collapsed buildings in Nigeria. In 2022, 20 out of the 61 buildings that collapsed in Nigeria were in Lagos. The Synagogue building collapse, which occurred in Ikotun-Egbe, Lagos, in 2014, killed 116 people, many of them foreigners, and made headlines globally.
There is hardly any year that the state doesn’t experience one building collapse or the other. The Lagos State Government needs to be proactive, if it wants to arrest this ugly trend.
Most collapsed buildings are due to structural defects. There is a lot of quackery in the building sector. People who are not structural engineers often pose as one, and are hired by unscrupulous Nigerians who want to cut corners and avoid due diligence on their buildings.
The Lagos State Building Control Agency needs to be up and doing. They should ease the process of getting building approvals so that people do not resort to putting up buildings without going through the necessary process. The cost of building approvals should also be made affordable so as to enable more people to have access to it.
There may be a need to outsource the job of approval and monitoring of building projects in the state due to high demand. The Lagos State Government can partner with professional associations in the building sector to prevent quackery, and building collapse.
Peter Ovie Akus wrote from New Jersey, USA.