Ambode goes for the kill, orders demolition of all defective Lekki Gardens buildings

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right), and others inspecting the site of the collapsed building in Lekki Gardens
Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right), and others inspecting the site of the collapsed building in Lekki Gardens

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Tuesday directed that stability test be conducted on all buildings constructed by the Lekki Gardens to ascertain their structural integrity, saying that any structure found to be defective will be demolished.

The Governor who addressed Government House Correspondents at the Lagos House, Ikeja shortly after inspecting the site of the collapsed building which was under construction by the Lekki Gardens, said the incident which claimed 35 lives and left several others injured was “one building collapse too many”.

He said since the unfortunate incident, the state government has taken several steps to stem the tide of building collapse, saying that his administration is determined not to fail in the responsibility of ensuring the safety of lives and property of its citizens.

“The state government will undertake a stability test on all other buildings constructed by the developer in the state, whether occupied or not, to ascertain their structural stability. The developer will pay the cost of the tests.  Any building found to be defective would be demolished.  For those that pass the integrity test the developer will pay a penalty for any overdevelopment on the site,” he said.

Ambode who commiserated with those who suffered loss and injury as a result of the building collapse said since the incident, the state government has ordered the immediate sealing of the construction site and cessation of further construction, co-ordinated emergency rescue of all injured victims and treatment at its hospitals, prosecution of owners of the collapsed building as well as dismissal of some government officials.

He said that the government will henceforth carry out an audit of all structures in the state to ascertain those with planning approval or not and evaluate the physical development against the approved building plans, saying that details of the plan will be made public soon.

“I want to assure you that there will no longer be any sacred cows. If there is failure of duty, there will be sanctions.

“I also want to seize this opportunity to assure Lagosians that the state government will do everything within its powers to check the excesses of developers who flout its regulations and will restore efficiency and confidence in the building control and supervision process,” the Governor said.

Speaking to journalists at the site of the collapsed building, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Wasiu Anifowose, said Ambode and his team were there to personally examine the level of damage and determine how best to prevent a reoccurrence going forward.

He disclosed that integrity test would be conducted on all the structures erected by Lekki Gardens in the area, and advised occupiers of other structures constructed by Lekki Gardens to vacate the buildings immediately.