Following the collapse of the guesthouse of the Synagogue Church of All Nations and other incidents of building collapse in the state, the Lagos State Building Control Agency has disclosed plans to engage approved building inspectors.
The inspectors, according to the General Manager, LASBCA, Mrs. Abimbola Animashaun, will ensure that residents of the state complied with building regulations.
“One thing we need is approved inspectors; no matter how many staff we have, we cannot cover it all; if we have them, they will be at the corner of each area to carry out inspection,” she said.
Animashaun said the state government had declared zero tolerance for any violation of relevant building codes, adding that the agency was bringing on board inspectors from the relevant professional bodies for strict monitoring and enforcement of the building codes.
She added, “We will seal any construction site where the work is not being done properly. We will seal any defaulting structure where the builder has no approval. We will seal any site whenever we see a dangerous structure being constructed, and we can seal for a lot of reasons.
“Even if you have approval and you are not complying with it, we will shut your site. For example, if someone was granted an approval to build a bungalow and now builds a storey building, we will not hesitate to take action; we will seal it immediately.”
Animashaun added that builders and developers who were in the habit of violating building laws in the state would, henceforth, be prosecuted.
She said, “People don’t like to abide by the rules, they like to deviate from the approval and this is where we stand that no one can do that. When you are caught, you will be penalised and it can also lead to the removal of your structure. If a foundation has been designed to carry a specific weight and you are overloading it, definitely there will be a collapse.
“We are here to ensure that there is no collapse and no loss of life. This is something that we are strictly going to enforce.”
Animashaun said enforcement of laws had been difficult as officers were on many occasions denied access to areas such as military barracks and religious institutions.
“We have issues regarding some areas and religious places; some of them see such places as an empire and we can’t get in there. We also have issues with barracks where we are not allowed to get in; there are places where our workers have been beaten up,” she said.
The Director, Inspectorate and Quality Control, LASBCA, Mr. Ayo Sodeinde, said developers should involve the
agency right from the foundation level of their buildings.
He said, “Starting from the soil excavation, we must be present to ensure that what you have excavated is exactly what your building is going to sit on.
“After that, we can give you the go-ahead to do your planning and commence work, and we will ensure that at each stage of the construction, we come to inspect and give you the pass mark if you have done well.
“Then, your engineer will write to us and tell us that the building is ready for people to move in; at that stage, we will move in again because you are then applying for certificate of fitness for habitation.”
Animashaun urged property owners in the state to work with the agency in ensuring that the incidences of building collapse were reduced.