A stern warning has been issued by the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Abiola Anifowoshe, to owners of distressed and abandoned buildings in Lagos State for them to put such buildings into shape before June 3, 2016 deadline or face prosecution.
Anifowoshe gave the warning yesterday during his ministerial press briefing at the state secretariat, Alausa Ikeja. He said government was taking an inventory of abandoned buildings in the state and had identified over 500 distressed buildings.
“Recently, the ministry published the first batch of these abandoned buildings and has since issued a 90-day ultimatum to owners to take possession or be ready to face the wrath of the law. We would continue to carry out our ministerial responsibilities until every building constructed in Lagos State is fit for human habitation.
I have published over 500 distressed and abandoned buildings.
“We have identified them and we have evacuated the occupants. We have sealed off the buildings. It cost the government huge amount of money to pull down any building. And the government cannot put all its money in demolition alone. That was why we decided to embark on the exercise in phases.”
He continued: “The buildings we have identified were the ones we know are dangerous for habitation and we have given the owners three months ultimatum to correct the error. And by June 3, the ultimatum will expire. The government will do the needful if they fail to abide by the ultimatum.”
The commissioner stated that beyond this, government had put measures in place to curb the incidence of building collapse in Lagos by adopting compulsory integrity test of building and construction materials in conjunction with the state materials testing laboratory,” he said.
Anifowoshe said government was determined to ensure that Lagos remained the Centre of Excellence and that it was resolute on its commitment to zero tolerance for building collapse.
“To those who would rather engage in illegal development, I must reiterate government’s determination to ensure that no developer would be allowed to put people’s lives at risk. Developers who engage in illegal development would face the full wrath of the law and forfeit such property to government,” he added.
He called on all stakeholders – developers, owners, occupiers and professionals in the environment sector to join hands with government and explore the limitless opportunities available in the ministry to obtain necessary permits and approvals for their developments.
This, he said, would curb the unwholesome trend of illegal development and needless loss of lives and property.