Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos State, has ordered the immediate demolition of a two-story structure on 310 Close in Banana Island, Ikoyi, as well as the sealing of additional structures nearby.
However, Sanwo-Olu attributed the earlier seven-story building’s collapse on First Avenue in Banana Island to what he called the “reckless” actions of unscrupulous developers who hid behind Federal Government offices that granted building approvals to gullible property owners.
Sanwo-Olu made the remark on Saturday, when he led a delegation of government officials for an on-the-spot accessment of the area, describing the situation as “irresponsible and unacceptable.”
Sanwo-Olu was conducted round the inspection tour by the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Tayo Bamigbose-Martin, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency, LABSCA, Gbolahan Oki, and other engineers.
While investigating the 310 Close building for construction without the proper approval and ordering the sealing of others due to various offenses, the governor issued the demolition order.
The governor also inspected an ongoing two storey building located at 303 Close which is being constructed under high tension wire.
Speaking with newsmen, Sanwo-Olu said, “We are at the site of the last unfortunate building collapse in Banana Island Lagos and I’m sure you have all gone round and see the site.
“Like it has been reported before now, there has been a lot of investigation that is going on right now and you can see that they are still clearing the rubbles at the site.
“We have given an order to stop work, not only at this site but also in all of the construction sites in banana Island.
“I think that the exercise we are doing today is not really just about this location.
“You have all seen the extent of what I will call unapproved extension into the water. You can see that the original line for Banana Island is even not where we are.
“It’s way in front there and you can see that there are several extensions that have been granted by both the Federal Ministry of Work and Housing. These are the two federal agencies that have been culpable for those extensions.
“They have done these extensions even without our knowledge. We have the responsibility for building approvals and the rest of these.
“From what I have been told, all of the four buildings at the back have never even applied for approvals.
“The legality is real and so that is why we are going round other properties in Banana Island.
“Excuses have been given that they don’t have access and this is not acceptable. This is total recklessness of all of the developers and we will make a strong point out of this place and all around Banana Island and in other developments that we have.
“The officers that will also be similarly found culpable will also be sanctioned, if any.
“But what we are doing right now is to set up external seven man committee. We are giving the people two weeks to independently also ascertain what has gone wrong there.
“So they should finish their work maybe towards the end of next week or thereafter.
“And so, this will also further strengthen our hand to be able to also come up with a robust work plan that we can enforce going forward.
“In all of these places, it’s heart breaking each time we have to go through these and it shows sometimes how irresponsible those developers and some of our citizens that just want to make quick money.
“And of course our own officers who are also not alive to their responsibilities.
“We have had to change staff here and there so that we can bring forward a robost and very strong monitoring offices.
“But we believe that we are still far from, we are still short on it I must say. And we will continue to do what we need to do to ensure that we keep the lives of our residents safe at all times.
“We are going round to inspect other properties in this area.”