By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, have shutdown 20 illegal buildings on Lagos Island, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
The buildings were shutdown at the weekend for not having building plan approval and having no building submission before their erection.
LASBCA officials, escorted by officials of the Lagos Task Force stormed several streets on the Island and immediately swung into action by sealing the affected premises, while partial demolition was effected in some buildings.
Apart from not having building permits and submissions, most of the buildings have also broken government seals after they were previously shut, an offence that attracts a penalty of N500,000.
Most of the buildings sealed were between three and four storey buildings, with many of them erected with inferior materials.
General Manager, LASBCA, Engr. Olalekan Shodeinde said it was no longer going to be business as usual as government was determined to get rid of illegal development across the state and stem the tide of collapsed buildings.
He said in the past three weeks, the agency had begun the sealing of buildings erected illegally across the state as their owners did not obtain building permits or made any building submissions to the government for approval.
“Before now, we have been civil in our enforcement, but the developers have remained recalcitrant by continuing in their illegal development. Most of these developers don’t have submission talk less of having permits,” he said.
Shodeinde added that whenever a building had been shutdown, the agency’s officials toke the building so that their owners would come forward to regularize their papers, as well as pay the necessary fines.
According to him, LASBCA should not be running after illegal developers if they did the right thing by obtaining their building permits and submitting other documents for approval.
“Most of these illegal developments were done at night with substandard materials being used. They don’t get the needed permit or follow due process before erecting them. The rains are coming and you can’t stop building collapse when you are not building right,’ he said.
Shodeinde called on Lagosians to report any illegal development in their domains to LASBCA for prompt action in order to avert building collapse.
However, the building shutdown are located at Freeman Street, Odunfa Street, Andrew Street, Joseph Haden Street, Kakawa Street, Olushi Street, Thomas Street, Hawley Street, Foresythe Street, Bamgbose Street, Ganiyu Street and Dumare Street.