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1, 000 buildings are unfit for human habitation in Lagos Island – Expert

Mr Kunle Awobodu, the National President, Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), says there are over one thousand buildings unfit for human habitation in Lagos Island.

Awobodu made the disclosure in an interview on Thursday in Lagos.

He said that BCPG had brought such distressed buildings to the notice of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) for demolition.

He spoke against the backdrop of a three-storey building located at Massey Street, Ita-Faaji, Lagos Island, that collapsed on Wednesday, killing some school pupils with many others injured.

No fewer than 45 pupils said to be on the last floor of the building were rescued from the rubble.

According to him, the collapsed building was one of the many buildings that were unfit for human habitation in Lagos Island.

“There are over 1,000 distressed other buildings of this nature in Lagos, which, if nothing is done to demolish them, they will still collapse, resulting to more calamities in the state.

“The collapsed building had been marked for demolition about three times, but the building regulatory agency has not demolished it.

“We are moving round the circle and this has to stop.

“Let the building control agency take the bull by the horn, by ensuring that all distressed buildings in the state are identified and demolished.

“Let the state government look for preventive measures, rather than spending money for evacuation, investigation and remediation after the calamities and damages have occurred,” Awobodu said.

He said that all the agencies responsible for monitoring buildings should be more proactive in discharging their mandates, if the issue of building collapse must stop.

Awobodu said that the architects, building engineers, bricklayers and the end-users must also live up to the expectations by complying with the construction rules and regulations guiding the industry.

Also speaking, Mr Adelaja Adekanmbi, the Chairman, Nigeria Institute of Building (NIOB), Lagos Chapter, called for a Town Hall Meeting, comprises the government, professionals, developers and end-users in the built environment.

Adekanmbi said the meeting was necessary as a platform for comprehensive deliberation among the players, on how to tackle the issue of building collapse in Lagos State.

According to him, all players in the industry have a role to play in addressing the issue of building collapse.

He said that all the parties had contributed one way or the other to the cause of a building collapse.

“Residents, who are the end-users have vital roles to play in curbing building collapse; they are in a better position to detect early illegal, abandoned and substandard constructions.

“LASBCA and other building regulatory authorities alone cannot properly monitor to detect when buildings are defective or when illegal constructions are going on, without the support of the residents.

“It is the residents that are in a better position to detect distressed and substandard buildings within their areas.

“It will be wicked of us to wait until calamity happens before government, institutions, professionals or individuals, can start to look for preventions.

“It requires collective efforts to end building collapse, and all players in the industry must contribute their quotas,” Adekanmbi said.

Sunday Olatunji
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Newstide247.com newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.
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