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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Lagos Yet To Demolish Ikoyi Skyscrapers Five Months After Tribunal’s Report

The Lagos state government is yet to begin the demolition of two adjoining high-rise buildings that failed the integrity test conducted by the state government investigative tribunal, five months after a 21-story building in Ikoyi, Lagos, collapsed.

This came two months after the committee set up to review the recommendations of the tribunal that probed the November 4, 2021 Ikoyi building collapse released a white paper.

Journalists had earlier reported on two high-rise structures in Ikoyi, Lagos State, that were on the verge of collapsing after failing integrity test by specialists.

The two high-rise structures, which are part of a Four Score Heights Limited development project, are located next to the 21-story skyscraper that collapsed in November 2021.

The Lagos State Government was also reported to have approved 26 recommendations made by the tribunal established to probe the building collapse.

The tribunal report reads in part, “The developer, having been careless, shall lose the project site to the Lagos State Government in compliance with Section 25(4) of the Revised LABSCA Regulation 2019. Given the number of lives lost, the developer, Fourscore Heights Limited, should be prosecuted.”

AIHS 2022

Chukwurah Godfrey, a member of the tribunal that probed the November building collapse, told journalists that the Lagos State Government, despite rejecting two other tribunal recommendations, had agreed with the advice that the high-rise structures be demolished.

He said, “Yes, we recommended that the buildings be brought down, but the government is yet to do that.”

According to him, integrity tests conducted on the two buildings revealed structural inadequacies and professional ineptitude on the part of the developer, noting that it would pose a serious risk to public safety if the development project was allowed to continue.

However, months after accepting the recommendation of the tribunal, there has been no perceivable move on the part of the government towards taking down the defective  structures.

When contacted, the Lagos State Commissioner for information, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, did not answer calls or text messages as of the time of filing this report.

A former Vice President of the Nigerian Institute of Building, Kunle Awobodu, however, urged the Lagos State Government to accelerate efforts towards deconstructing the skyscrapers in order to eliminate the possible threats the buildings pose to residents of the area.

“Government should think as quickly as possible about how to avert any hazard, especially during this rainy season. If you’re now claiming that nothing will happen and the building collapses on its own, it calls into doubt the seriousness of those charged with avoiding building collapse,” he said.

He, however, point out that deconstructing the structures would necessitate a high level of knowledge and logistics in order to avoid the loss of lives or property.

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