Tuesday, November 2, 2021 2:18 pm
By Temitope Ajayi
It is quite incredible that buildings fall like pack of badly arranged cards in a state where there is a functional government like Lagos State.
The most annoying statement that came out of the Ikoyi tragedy yesterday was the reason the General Manager of Lagos State Building Control Agency, Mr. Gbolahan Oki gave for the collapse. The GM said the developer of the 21-floor building at Ikoyi used substandard materials and took the building to 21 floors against approved 15 floors.
I think that was the silliest thing to say by any government official. As a matter of immediate disciplinary action, that silly statement is enough for Governor Sanwo-Olu to fire the GM and possibly prosecute him for dereliction of duty. What is the GM’s job as a regulator? Is it not to stop violation of building regulations and approvals. A project had approved 15 floors and a developer had the audacity to take it to 21 floors? In Ikoyi of all places not some backwaters at Ajangbadi or Aberanje. So, from the point it moved beyond 15 floors with extra 6 unapproved floors, this disoriented GM wants us to believe nobody from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Building Control Agency saw the violations?
The reason for building collapse in Lagos like most other parts of Nigeria is lax regulation fueled by corruption. Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and that Building Control Agency are dens of criminals and very corrupt civil servants. Governor Sanwo-Olu has serious job to do. I am really surprised his government is not doing anything to dismantle the huge corruption infrastructure and racketeering within Office of Physical Planning and Building Control Agency. I am pained to write this because my friend is a victim and I have been unable to help him even with my access to some of the senior officials of the government who even appear helpless.
This constant loss of human lives as a result of corruption should not be allowed to continue by any government. These people collect money from developers and land grabbers and look away. That Building Control Agency and the office of Physical Planning should be disbanded immediately for proper reorganisation with people who are ready to do their job and not after bribes.