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Lagos State Government yesterday said it would activate the relevant Section of the State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2019 as amended to effect the seizure of the site of the recent building collapse at 24, Ibadan Street, Ebute-Metta.

The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, made this known during a meeting with the ministry’s enforcement team in Alausa. He commiserated with the families of those who lost their lives and others that sustained injuries.

Salako said the government was investigating the circumstances surrounding the collapse and would not hesitate to activate the forfeiture clause, should the property owner be found culpable.

Before the four-storey building collapsed on May 1, the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) had served statutory notices relevant to a distressed building in occupation, which culminated in the seal-off of the building.

But the tenants refused to move out, claiming they had issues to sort out with the landlord, while the agency, upon noticing the break of seal, further served demolition notice in preparation for the demolition of the building.

The government said at the weekend that it had demolished a partially collapsed three-storey building on Chris Ngadi Avenue, Ago Palace Way, Okota.

A statement yesterday by Mr. Mukaila Sanusi, spokesman for the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, said the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) carried out the demolition.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that LASBCA is one of the agencies being supervised by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.

According to Sanusi, the Commissioner, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Salako, said “detailed investigation into the remote and immediate causes of the collapse has been ordered.”

Salako said preliminary report of the collapse suggested that a section of the building disintegrated due to excess weight.

The commissioner said no lives were lost despite that the building was in use, adding that the site had been cordoned off to guarantee safety.

Salako said to avert danger, another building under construction at the same street “was completely pulled down by LASBCA for poor construction and use of inferior materials.”

He said all hands must be on deck to tackle the menace of building collapse, as the recurring events, especially during the rainy season, were worrisome and required holistic measures.

He said the government was adopting measures, including technology, to reform the regulatory environment.

The commissioner said the measures included application of stage-detection technology, automation of the activities of the parent ministry and its agencies and the creation of additional district offices.

He noted that additional district offices would ensure more presence of regulatory officials in remote parts of the states to be able to detect illegal and distressed buildings.

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