Following the recent building collapse that occurred at Ita-Faji area of Lagos Island, Lagos state where people including children lost their lives, the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Lagos Chapter, has highlighted some measures to be taken by state government and stakeholders in built environment to forestall re-occurrence of such worrisome incident in the future.
These measures were contained in a statement by this professional body, NITP signed by its state chairman, TPL Adebisi Adedire, to commensurate with the families of those who lost their lives as well to find lasting solutions to this ugly incident.
According to the statement, “The Nigerian institute of Town Planners (NITP) Lagos State Chapter received with great shock the news of the collapsed building at Ita Faji, Lagos Island in which innocent lives were lost and many sustained injuries. More worrisome was the death of pupils who are future of the society and the country.
“Our deep condolence goes out to all the families involved in this mayhem. It is our prayer that the Lord will give them the strength to carry on and we pray quick recovery for those undergoing medical treatment.
“Building collapse especially in densely populated City like Lagos is an unfortunate incident which the State Government and Stakeholders in the built environment must try to always guard against.
“While we call on the Government to delve into the remote and immediate causes of the collapsed building at Ita Faji, we must remember that this disaster has already happened and the focus now should be on preventing future occurrence.
“On our part as urban planners, we share in the responsibility to make our built environment safe, attractive and livable. It is our duty to ensure that developers comply with extant urban planning laws and regulations.
“Approved operative development plans are therefore a sine qua non for building construction in any human settlement. We also share the responsibility of monitoring development and building construction in collaboration with other stakeholders.
“We therefore would like to assure the general Public that Town Planners as well as professionals in the built environment in the State will work tirelessly to ensure that this menace is completely eliminated.
“In view of the above, the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners Lagos State Chapter would therefore request that the State Government urgently look into the following;
“Take urgent action on already identified distressed buildings by asking occupants to quit within 14days. The government should however assist those affected with temporary accommodation prior to their securing of befitting accommodation.
“Immediate inventory of distressed buildings within the State with focus on areas/zones known for transition (Change of use) such as Lagos Island, Ebute-Metta etc.
“Structural Stability/Integrity test should be carried out on buildings identified as old and dilapidated.
Necessary steps to demolish or rehabilitate buildings with failed Stability test.
“Review the existing laws, regulations and building codes with a view to preparing legislations that ensure global best practice in construction industry;
“Embark on effective capacity training across the staff responsible for building control in the public service. Provision of standard equipments as well as proper funding of relevant agencies.
“Engage the private sector in the building control system particularly in monitoring and compliance, and
engage strategic stakeholders (in safety, building materials, developers etc.) to collaborate in the building process.
“Finally, the Institute would like to call the public to always consult professionals before and during the construction of any building.
Once again, the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners commiserates with the families of victims of the collapsed building and the Lagos State Government for the irreparable loss”, Adedire concluded