President, Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concern over persistent building collapse across the country, warning that those responsible for professional negligence, leading to the collapse of buildings would face the wrath of the law.
He gave the warning when he received the leadership of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, NIQS, led by Obafemi Onashile, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja,
The president’s outburst follows the collapse of a three-storey building located on 50, Kakawa Street, Campos, Lagos Island, on Monday this week, though without any casualty. It was gathered that occupants of the collapsed building had vacated all the apartments and shops attached to the building after the Lagos State Building Control Agency marked the building for demolition. It was the third time in two weeks that a building collapsed in Lagos Island.
On March 13, a building collapsed at Ita Faji within the Lagos Island area, killing 20 persons, including school children, while more than 40 people sustained injuries.
Five days after, another building collapsed on 57, Egerton Square, Oke Arin, Lagos. However, there were claims that the Lagos State Building Control Agency had already embarked on demolition before the building went down. Further investigations revealed that four people were scavenging inside the building, which had already been marked for demolition when it caved in. The victims were later rushed to nearby hospitals for medical attention.
General Manager of the State Building Control Agency, Lekan Shodeinde disclosed that about 180 houses will be demolished in the exercise that was already in progress. The state government thereafter set up a five-man panel to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the incidents.
Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development in the state, Rotimi Ogunleye, while inaugurating the panel, explained that the terms of reference of the panel included proffering remedial measures to stem further building collapse in the future, as well as determining the level of negligence on the part of the developer or owner and the role of the state government.
Meanwhile, the state government has opened a resettlement centre for victims of building collapse in Lagos. The victims would be accommodated at the State Relief and Resettlement Centre, Igando in Alimosho Local Government Area of the state.