In an effort to tackle the frequent cases of building collapse in Lagos State, the government embarked on the demolition of illegal buildings in Banana Island.
The exercise was carried out by officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit and the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority.
The team was led by the leadership of the agencies which include, the General Manager of LASBCA, Gbolahan Oki, and the Task Force Chairman, CSP Shola Jejeloye.
According to a statement by the State Ministry of Information, the affected buildings were in contravention of the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning Development Law (2019).
It was also said to be in line with the agency’s core statutory responsibilities of identification and removal/demolition of distressed, illegal and non-conforming structures in the State.
“The exercise is in compliance with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s directive last weekend when he visited the site of the seven-storey building that collapsed on Banana Island.
“Governor Sanwo-Olu said the site of the collapsed building was not originally part of the Island’s plan,” the statement added.
No fewer than seven persons were rescued from the rubble of a seven-storey building under construction that collapsed on Wednesday, 12 April, on First Avenue, in the area.
Construction workers were performing their daily tasks in the building that had been under construction for months when it suddenly caved in around 4.58pm.
It was learnt that while some of the workers at the site escaped unhurt with some sustaining varying degrees of injury, some other workers, who were unlucky, got trapped beneath the rubble of the collapsed structure.
In a bid to rescue the trapped victims, some eyewitnesses, including construction workers at the site of adjoining buildings within the premises, raised the alarm and alerted relevant emergency agencies who mobilized to the scene to commence rescue operations.
Shortly after the incident, the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, in a statement posted on its verified Facebook page, said no approval was given for the construction of the collapsed structure.
This is as the body of an adult male was however recovered from the rubble during the recovery efforts of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, who confirmed this in a statement on Friday, 15 April, disclosed that the body of the male victim was found in the morning, almost 48 hours after the incident.
While leading a delegation to have an on-the-spot assessment of the incident on Saturday, 22 April, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu ordered the demolition of no fewer than 20 buildings in the area without valid building approvals, especially those seen to have violated building regulations and plans of the State.
The governor also frowned at the issuance of a permit to sand fill the Lagos Lagoon without regard to the topography of the area.
Sanwo-Olu also expressed displeasure over the approvals given to developers by the federal government in connivance with some corrupt officials of the Lagos State government.