Five months after the collapse of a 21-storey building in Ikoyi, Lagos, the state government is yet to commence the demolition of two nearby high-rise buildings which failed the integrity test conducted by the state government investigative tribunal.
This also came two months after the release of a white paper by the committee set up to review the recommendations of the tribunal that investigated the Ikoyi building collapse of November 4, 2021.
It was earlier reported that the two high-rise buildings in Ikoyi, Lagos State, risked collapse after failing experts’ integrity scrutiny.
The two high-rise buildings, a development project by Four Score Heights Limited, stand adjacent to the 21-storey building that collapsed in November 2021.
It was also reported that the Lagos State Government had accepted 26 recommendations made by the tribunal that was set up to investigate the building collapse.
The tribunal report partly read, “The developer, having been negligent, should forfeit the project site to the Lagos State Government in accordance with Section 25(4) of the Revised LABSCA Regulation 2019. The Developer, Fourscore Heights Limited should be prosecuted in view of the loss of lives involved.”
Speaking in an interview with our correspondent, Chukwurah Godfrey, a member of the tribunal that investigated the November building collapse, said the Lagos State Government, despite rejecting two other recommendations by the tribunal, had concurred with the advice that the high-rise buildings be taken down.
He said, “Yes, we recommended that the buildings be brought down, but the government is yet to do that.”
According to him, integrity tests conducted on the two buildings revealed structural inadequacies and professional ineptitude on the part of the developer, noting that it would pose a serious risk to public safety if the development project was allowed to continue.
However, months after accepting the recommendation of the tribunal, there has been no perceivable move on the part of the government towards taking down the defective structures.
When contacted, the Lagos State Commissioner for information, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, did not answer calls or text messages as of the time of filing this report.
A former Vice President of the Nigerian Institute of Building, Kunle Awobodu, however, urged the Lagos State Government to accelerate efforts towards deconstructing the skyscrapers in order to eliminate the possible threats the buildings pose to residents of the area.
He said, “Government should think as fast as possible on how to nip any danger in the bud, especially during this rainy season. If you are now saying nothing might happen and the thing falls by itself, it questions the level of seriousness of those who are saddled with the responsibility of preventing collapse of buildings.”
He, however, noted that demolishing the structures would require serious expertise and logistics to avoid loss of lives or property in the process.