A non-governmental organisation, Spaces for Change, has asked the Lagos State Government to publish the report of the committee set up to investigate the Ita-Faaji building collapse.
The group, otherwise known as S4C, said the five-man panel of enquiry set up in March 2019 to investigate the cause of the Ita-Faji building collapse and proffer remedial measures to prevent similar incidents submitted a report in April 2019, which had yet to be formally published.
“S4C urges the state to publish the much-expected report to promote good governance, spot questionable practices, and sensitise the public on how to prevent similar incidents in the future,” the group said in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri.
While commending the state government for its management of the humanitarian crisis arising from the Ita-Faaji building collapse, and the subsequent demolition of structurally-defective buildings in the state, the group said the major attempt to localise international standards in managing urban hazards was laudable.
It, however, stated that the abrupt closure of the Lagos Relief/Resettlement Camp at Igando, where the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency provided emergency humanitarian support in the form of three-month accommodation, feeding, health care services, transportation to school and work/business, to over 500 displaced persons indicated a policy gap.
The group said, “The abrupt closure of the camp shortly before the inauguration of the Governor Sanwo-Olu-led administration indicates a policy gap that needs filling. Reopening the camp and providing adequate legal safeguards for the displaced, uniquely positions and prepares the state to manage future disasters effectively.
“Prior to the closure, state authorities gave the displaced persons cash relief ranging between N100, 000 and N700, 000 as compensation to mitigate the effect of involuntary displacement. While this is commendable, there is need for policy guidance to formally establish the criteria for calculating compensation rates for various types of displacement resulting from emergencies, man-made, and natural disasters, among others.”
According to the group, the Lagos State Government’s two resettlement camps in Igando, Alimosho Local Government and Agbowa, Ikorodu Local Government, are grossly inadequate considering the state’s over 20 million population.
It added, “An efficient multi-level network of emergency management systems and particularly, relief camps operational within each Local Government and Development Areas are needed. Not only that, relief camps should have state budgetary allocation for staffing, maintenance, and residents’ welfare annually.
“There are still several defective buildings across the state in urgent need of improvement. Irrespective of political change, the issue requires attention and adherence to best practices for their resolution. Consistent with the intendment of S4C’s Development-based Displacement Guidelines, we reinforce the need for an appropriate legal framework for mitigating the often harsh humanitarian consequences of urban displacement linked to development activities.
“More importantly, S4C urges the Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led Lagos State government to reopen the Lagos Relief Camp as a part of the state’s urban resilience strategy, and allocate resources for its maintenance in strict compliance with the principles and requirements of legality, necessity, proportionality and accountability.”