By Grace Alegba, Lagos.
The Lagos State Government says it has directed prompt investigations to unravel the cause of the building collapse at 2/4 Oye Sonuga Street, Palmgroove in Mushin Local Government on Friday.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins, said this when he visited the site.
He said that the incident, which occurred at midday, was “the partial collapse of a four-floor building that is over 40 years old”.
A statement by Mr Mukaila Sanusi, spokesman of the ministry, said that Bamgbose-Martins, stressed that while investigations were underway, he had directed that the adjoining building be demolished for safety reasons to avert danger.
The commissioner said that the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory had been instructed to begin work to ascertain the cause of the collapse.
He said the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency had since begun rescue operations, while efforts were ongoing to save anyone trapped in the rubbles.
Lagos has recorded recurring cases of building collapse, with Friday’s incident coming on the heels of that of a seven-storey building on Oba Idowu Oniru Street, Lekki, on Sept. 4.
The building, which was under construction, caved in, leading to the death of no fewer than five persons.
The former Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako, resigned his appointment, a day after the incident.
Mr Gbenga Omotoso, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, who announced Salako’s resignation in Ikeja, did not, however, state the reasons behind the resignation.
He, however, said that the commissioner’s resignation was a prelude to the restructuring of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development and its agencies.
He added that Gov. Sanwo-Olu, who accepted the commissioner’s resignation, thanked him for his services to the state and wished him success in his future endeavours.
“The governor warns all players in the sector to respect the law or face the consequences of any indiscretion, no matter who the perpetrators are,’’ Omotoso the said.
On Sept. 17, his successor, Bamgbose-Martins, was quoted as warning workers in the agencies under the ministry that it could no longer be business as usual.
This is contained in a statement by Mr Mukaila Sanusi, spokesman for the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.
Sanusi quoted the commissioner as issuing the warning during his maiden meeting with the staff of agencies under his ministry in Alausa.
The meeting was held with staff of the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) and the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) District Officers.