National President, Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), Mr. Kunle Awobodu, has said there are over 1, 000 buildings unfit for human habitation on Lagos Island.
Awobodu made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Lagos, yesterday, 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.
Not less than 45 pupils were said to be on the last floor of the building and were rescued from the rubble.
Awobodu reiterated that BCPG had brought such distressed buildings to the notice of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) for demolition.
According to him, the collapsed building was one of the many buildings that were unfit for human habitation on 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 in 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 added that all the agencies responsible for monitoring buildings should be more proactive in discharging their mandates, if the issue of buildings collapse must stop in Lagos.
Awobodu said architects, building engineers, bricklayers and the end-users must also live up to expectation by complying with the construction rules and regulations guiding the industry.
Also, Chairman of the Lagos chapter of the Nigeria Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr. Adelaja Adekanmbi, called for a Town Hall meeting, which will comprise government, professionals, developers and end-users in the building environment.
He said the meeting is necessary, as a platform for comprehensive deliberation among the players, on how to tackle the issue of buildings collapse in Lagos State.
According to him, if all the players in the industry have a role to play in addressing the issue of buildings collapse and added 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.