… Says Affected Building Owners Disregarded Govt Notices Since 2016
Lagos State Government has said that it will mobilise its demolition gang to pulldown about 17 distressed buildings being used for commercial purposes within Alaba International Market in the Ojo area of the State.
The General Manager of Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Arc. Gbolahan Oki revealed this on Friday after an assessment visit to the distressed buildings marked for demolition where final warnings and vacation notices were given to the occupants of the affected buildings.
The marked inscriptions from LASBCA seen on different parts of the buildings that were looking physically distressed had vacation notices as far back as 2016, 2020, 2022 and several others issued to this year, 2023.
Oki, who decried the rate of harassment meted out to officials of the agency at different times in the past, said that seven years’ notification was enough for the occupants of the buildings marked for demolition to have vacated the structures and comply with the notices issued by LASBCA and other government agencies.
He added that rather than following due process in pulling down the structures and replacing the buildings with new ones, the occupants of the buildings had continued to occupy the buildings to their detriment.
In his words, “These buildings marked within this ALABA International Market would have been included in the list of 349 distressed buildings earlier published in different national newspapers this year but because the occupants were always harassing our officers, it was impossible to capture the details of the structures and include them in the publication”.
“What we have done now is a joint exercise carried out by both the Lagos Task Force officers and the demolition gang of Lagos State Building Control Agency. The buildings would be demolished”, he noted.
Oki said that the government will continue to place a premium on the lives of residents of the State regardless of their locations, stressing that the life of a Lagosian is of greater value and cannot be traded for financial gains or profits.
He explained that the demolition of the distressed buildings within the ALABA International Market has become very crucial and timely considering the danger that the buildings pose to other adjoining structures and the lives of businessmen and women within the market.
Oki said, “We know that this area is a commercial centre and one of the busiest markets in Lagos State but despite this, we cannot fold our arms and allow irregularities to continue to thrive in the market where the lives of innocent persons would be put at risk because of the failure of a few set of individuals who have refused to do the needful”.
The General Manager also used the opportunity of the exercise to plead with Lagosians to always inform the government about distressed buildings and infractions noticed within their neighbourhoods by bringing such infractions to the attention of relevant government agencies.
He advised Lagos residents, especially property owners, to desist from patronising touts and impostors in the processing of building approvals in an attempt to subvert due process which will eventually put their properties at risk.
Oki implored all residents of Lagos State to see the exercise at ALABA International market as a clear warning, assuring that LASBCA will not spare any structure in any part of the State in its efforts to pull down identified distressed buildings.