The Lagos State Government has temporarily halted the issuance of approval for additional floors as well as amendments to existing building floors throughout the state.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development in Lagos State, Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins, revealed this during a meeting with professional bodies including the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Nigerian Institute of Building, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Nigerian Institute of Mining and Geosciences, Nigerian Society of Engineers, Council for the Regulation of Engineers in Nigeria, and others.
Bamgbose-Martins, at a meeting to come up with solutions to building collapse cases in Lagos, stated that the temporary stop on approval was part of the measures immediately introduced to drastically reduce cases of collapsed buildings after his redeployment to the ministry.
According to him, building approvals would now be based on a number of floors applied from the building’s inception.
He stated that the state authority would not grant approvals for additional floors that differed from the number of floors approved when construction began.
According to him, the governor’s mandate was to end cases of collapsed buildings, which he described as an embarrassment to the state given its global standing.
The commissioner stated that efforts had been increased to ensure that anyone responsible for cases of collapsed buildings, including government officials, were prosecuted in order to serve as a deterrent to others planning to engage in any unethical behavior.
He urged genuine behavioral change on the part of government officials, building developers, professional bodies, members of the public, and other relevant stakeholders.
The commissioner acknowledged the need for the government to collaborate with the built professionals to bring sanity to the sector and also expand the scope of the monitoring and inspection activities of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA).
He noted that the recommendations and solutions presented by the professionals which had been divided into Long, Medium, and Short terms would be implemented accordingly.
The General Manager of LASBCA, Gbolahan Oki, said the agency had concluded plans to embark on a massive awareness campaign on building rights, using all available means of communication including social media, television, radio, and newspapers as well as continuous stakeholders’ engagement.
President of Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Toyin Ayinde, advocated genuine value and love for human lives among building stakeholders.
Ayinde said that the value for human lives would often lead to building rights in society and would further engender sincerity in the implementation of the State’s Physical Planning Law.