About 1,800 buildings were Wednesday sealed across Lagos State by the state government, stating that the buildings under seal risked being demolished due to their poor state of structural integrity.
The state government also said it had commenced the state-wide demolition of distressed buildings, which it said, largely violated the physical planning and urban development law of the state.
General Manager of the state Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Mrs. Abimbola Animashaun, disclosed this while answering questions from journalists shortly after conducting the demolition of a distressed building located at No. 27, Willoughby Street, Ebute Metta.
LASBC bulldozer moved to Willoughby Street, Ebute Metta and brought down a distressed three-storey building. Thousands watched the building crumble down, while a team of policemen were at alert to forestall trouble.
Animashaun dispelled rumours that the 1,800 buildings were sealed for not having building approval or Certificates of Occupancy (C of O), but said they were sealed for being distressed.
She said that many of the affected property owners had refused, “to come forward to do the necessary for the re-opening of their properties. Some of the properties owners have removed our seal and we are taking action on those that refuse to do the necessary things for their properties to be re-opened.”
She stated that the state government would no longer tolerate people violating its town planning laws as such structures would be demolished before they killed people, adding that government was ready to prosecute defaulters.
Animashaun therefore urged developers “to follow the laws and comply with the urban and regional planning laws. They should come for advice as we do not want them to jeopardize the lives of the people that will live in such houses.”
According to her, about 30 distressed buildings had been marked for demolition in Ebute Metta alone, five of which would be demolished today (Tuesday), while the remaining would be demolished after the result of their integrity tests had come out.
She said the state government officials “have marked these buildings since July 2013. We have marked 30 buildings for demolition and five will be demolished between today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday).
“Others are awaiting integrity test. These buildings are on Simpson Street, Borno Way and the rest. We expect people, whose houses are marked for demolition to leave immediately,” Animasahun explained.