The president, Housing Development Advocacy Network, Barr Festus Adebayo, has condemned the building collapse tragedy of a primary school located on the second floor of a three-storey building in the Itafaji area of Lagos Island.
As at the time of filing this report, at least 100 young children were trapped when the building collapsed in the densely-populated area and rescuers were trying to reach them through the damaged roof.
The children were attending a nursery and primary school on the top floor of the residential building when the structure collapsed. Police said they believed scores of people were trapped under the rubble.
Adebayo, who is also the owner of Housing Television, in an interview with housing news, said those in authority should be blamed for the incident which occurred as a result of negligence.
According to him, there was no verifiable upgrade of the collapsed building which is over 30 years old, adding that the Lagos State government failed in its statutory and primary duty of care to the children as its coordinating body ought to have been providing oversight functions on all school facilities to ensure standards, safety, and security of the pupils and students.
He therefore called on professional bodies, heads of regulatory bodies in the construction industry, , development control departments, architects, Engineers, Builders, Surveyors, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), and the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) to unite against building collapse by working the talk and not just criticize the incident.
Adebayo further said it was worrisome that despite the high rate of building collapse in the country, the perpetrators had never being brought to book or sanctioned.
“What exactly are our law enforcement agency in the development control doing, when is the government of this country going to have political will to punish people that are found wanting in matters like this, from the case of Akwa Ibom Redeem Church, to the case of Synagogue Church and many others, Tell me who amongst the owners of these properties has been sent to jail, Adebayo asked.
Let the government tell us how many are in prison over building collapse, Let professional bodies tell us how many of their members have been sanctioned over incidents like this, we should stop creating problem for the next generation.
“How can a school be situated on the third floor of a building in a residential area, who approved it? , Is government aware of this or are they hearing of this for the first time? Was there any political influence on the regulatory body? how many dilapidated structures like these are still standing in Lagos? We must all unite against building collapse either you are a professional in the Construction Industry or not.
Asking to know who the developers, engineers in charge of the building is a waste of time, this is not a building that was constructed three or five years ago, am sure the person who handled the bill of quantity or supervised the building may not even remember he built the building,” he said.
Source: Priscilla Anaemena