By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos

As part of the effort to check incessant building collapse in Lagos State, the state government has revealed that 349 buildings across the state were currently in the state of distress.

The buildings and their locations were identified and published in the state government’s website.

The state government through its agency, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LSBCA), made this public.

According to the General Manager of the agency, Gbolahan Owodunni Oki, the suspected distressed structures were identified through a thorough monitoring exercise aimed at preventing collapse and its attendant effects such as loss of lives and properties.

He added that all the identified structures have signs which indicate that they might not be fit for human habitation, some of those signs include cracks, spalling, bulging, exposed reinforcement, sinking and tilting, hence the need to conduct Non-Destructive Test (NDT) on them to ascertain their structural stability.

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He noted that though statutory notices were duly served on the owners/developers to carry out the much-needed NDT, the Agency is yet to receive responses from the owners or developers of the structures.

Speaking further, Oki said that the publication is therefore a final notice given to the affected building owners to conduct the NDT and carry out the recommendations of the Test which may include re-engineering/renovation or removal as the case may be.

He maintained that in the case of removal, a Demolition Permit should be obtained from the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority before removal while Renovation Permit should be obtained from the same Agency (LASPPPA) in the case of re-engineering or renovation.

Oki said that a timeframe of 90 days is given after the publication for all owners/developers to do the needful failing which LASBCA will remove the structures in the interest of public safety and in line with the regulatory provisions of the Law, adding that in the event that LASBCA removes the structures, cost of demolition will be borne by the owner/developer of the structures.

He also urged all owners/developers to carry out detailed maintenance checks on their properties and obtain the Certificate of Completion and Fitness for Habitation for new and existing buildings that are yet to do so in line with the building codes of the State.