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Building collapse: Lagos to demolish 180 houses

The Lagos State Building Control Agency on Friday commenced the demolition of defective buildings on Lagos Island.

About 180 houses will be demolished, according to the General Manager of LASBCA, Mr Lekan Shodeinde.

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.

“We are doing this so that no more lives will be lost in Lagos,” he said.

“For others that are still occupied, we are going to evict the occupants to avoid disaster because their lives are important to us.”

The agency’s task force began with the demolition of a three-storey building at 60A Freeman Street, Epetedo.

The demolition is coming on the heels of Wednesday’s building collapse incident on Massey Street, Ita Faaji, Lagos Island, in which no fewer than 20 people were killed and others injured.

The agency said the property owners had been served several notices dating back to 2013.

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 per cent 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.

He said, “We were to demolish some buildings but had to subject them to test to ensure that nobody takes advantage of the situation.”

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.”

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