Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state has on Tuesday ordered all residents living in houses built by Lekki Gardens to vacate their homes as integrity test is to be carried out on each building to determine its safety.
The governor, who visited the site of the collapsed building, which killed 35 people in Lekki, said he was displeased with what he saw, hence the need for immediate action.
Speaking to newsmen after his visit he said all structures in Lagos would be audited to ascertain those with planning approval and evaluate their physical development against their plans, adding that the developers are expected to take responsibility of the relocation of occupants of the buildings as government would not wait for the buildings to kill other people.
“The State Government will undertake a stability test on all other buildings constructed by the developer in the state, whether occupied or not, to ascertain their structural stability. The developer will pay the cost of the tests. Any building found to be defective would be demolished.
“For those that pass the integrity test, the developer will pay a penalty for any over-development on the site. Further to the above, the State Government intends to carry out an audit of all structures in Lagos to ascertain those with planning approval or not and evaluate the physical development against the approved building plans. The details of this initiative are being finalized and you will be briefed in due course.
“Let me reiterate that Lagos is open to business for those who must comply with the state’s laws and regulations in order to prosper. Our main concern is to continue to improve on the ease of doing business and uphold the rule of law at all times. Those who choose non-compliance and defiance will henceforth face the full weight of the law without fear or favour.
“In addition, some government officials have been relieved of their duties. I want to assure you that there will no longer be any sacred cows. If there is failure of duty, there will be sanctions,” Ambode warned.
The governor also commiserated with families of those who lost their lives and those injured in the incident, stating that his government will do everything within its power to ensure the safety of lives and property of its citizens and that his government was determined not to fail in that duty.
Ambode also revealed that a five man committee to examine the Urban and Regional Planning Law of the State as it affects the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA).
The Committee is to be chaired by TPL (Dr) Moses Olubunmi Ajayi, a past President of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners and Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria, while members include Engineer Ore Fadayomi, President of the Nigerian Institute of Structural engineers, Architect (Mrs) Yetunde O. Ajayi, a retired Permanent Secretary, General Manager of Lagos State Planning Authority(LASSPA) and Secretary of Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) as Secretary of the Committee.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Society of Engineers has commenced investigation to ascertain the involvement of its members in the construction of the five-storeyed building which collapsed in Lekki, Lagos.