The Lagos State Government on Friday began the demolition of marked dilapidated or defective buildings in the state.
This is coming few days after a three-storey building containing a primary school collapsed and killed over 20 people in Lagos Island.
An eyewitness Abdulazeez Elegushi told The Guardian that the story three-storey building which collapsed was marked for demolition last year.
However, the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode said the government faced opposition by owners of the houses when they wanted to demolish the buildings.
“As you can see, some of the buildings have been marked for demolition. We get resistance from landlords.” he said during his visit to the scene of the building collapse.
The General Manager of Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Lekan Shodeinde said that the agency has once again commenced the demolition of about 180 housed on Lagos Island.
Shodeinde, who was represented by the agency’s secretary, Mr Tayo Fakolujo, during the demolition exercise, said the buildings would be destroyed in phases.
He added that 30 had already been demolished on Lagos Island in the last one year, while 150 had been marked for demolition. He said:
“We are doing this so that no more lives will be lost in Lagos.”
“For others that are still occupied, we are going to evict the occupants to avoid disaster because their lives are important to us.”
Shodeinde said in the last three years no new building had collapsed in Lagos because the state government had been carrying out material testing on them. He said:
“But for the old structures, we are going to be doing foundation analysis of about 70 percent of structures that are over 25 years old to ensure that they are still structurally sound.
“There are still about three or four buildings that are defective on Massey Street and we are trying to remove them but there is litigation and we must avoid liability that might arise if we remove forcefully without clearance from the court.”
According to him, some will be demolished mechanically and others manually because some of the buildings have no space between them.
Shodeinde stated that before Wednesday’s incident the agency had demolished over 10 houses between Ajeromi Ifelodun and Apapa.
Residents of Epetedo hailed the agency for helping them to avert disaster.
One of them claimed many houses in the area were poorly built.
The source, who gave his name simply as Taju, said, “We are happy; everything should be destroyed. We don’t want any loss of lives again.”