As many as 84 people have lost their lives in 18 building collapses in Lagos State over the past two years, Saturday PUNCH has learned.
The latest such incident occurred in Oba Idowu Oniru Street on Victoria Island on Sunday September 4 when a seven-storey building under construction collapsed, killing two people in the process.
Our correspondent collected that three cases were recorded in 2020, six in 2021, while nine cases occurred in 2022.
On September 10, 2020, a multi-storey building partially collapsed at No. 26 Afolabi Alasia Street, Gaskiya Road, Ijora-Badia, Lagos State due to lack of maintenance.
Although no lives were lost, it was reported that at the time of the visit by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency and other relevant authorities, the rear of the building showed signs of damage. visible cracks and signs of disrepair.
Just nine days later, another building, a three-storey building of a private school, Excel College, in Ejigbo, collapsed. Fortunately, the schools were not in session as the incident happened two days before the reopening of high schools and private schools in the state.
However, the case was not the same on Sunday, October 11, 2020, as four people lost their lives, while eight others suffered injuries to varying degrees when a three-storey building still under construction collapsed. on the island of Lagos.
The tragedy continued on May 4, 2021, when a bungalow at the mounted police barracks in Ikeja partially collapsed, killing a Peace Bulus, breaking her sister’s arm, while their mother, Hauwa and his two other daughters escaped with a blast.
It was reported that they were sleeping in their one-room apartment in the barracks when the incident happened.
Additionally, on July 8, 2021, a three-storey building collapsed at No. 19 Church Street, off Adeniji Adele Street, Lagos Island, claiming the life of a five-year-old child while other occupants escaped.
According to the report, the building suddenly collapsed while some of the occupants, including the deceased child, were already asleep.
On the 20th of the same month, the owner of a two-storey building under construction at 77, Tapa Road, Oke-Ojo, Isawo in Ikorodu, Lagos State, Pastor Daniel Obasi, died in the rubble of his house when the structure collapsed. ..
The greatest tragedy of the period occurred on November 1, 2021 when a 21-storey building collapsed on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, killing 46 people, including the building’s developer, Femi Osibona.
According to the report, the owner of the building under construction in Ikoyi received permission to build only 15 floors, but raised the structure to 21 floors.
However, just 24 hours after the 21-story building collapsed, a two-story building under construction in the Osapa London area of Lekki partially collapsed following heavy rain.
Although committees have been set up to investigate the Ikoyi incident separately by the Lagos State Government, the Nigerian Buildings and Roads Research Institute and the Regulatory Board of the engineering in Nigeria, nothing had changed much to stop the trend of building collapse in the state.
Seventeen days after the Ikoyi disaster, precisely on November 17, 2021, another two-storey building under construction around Magbon in the Badagry region of the state collapsed, killing four construction workers.
Emergency responders, including community members, however rescued five other survivors, who suffered varying degrees of injuries and were rushed to hospital.
Similarly, a three-storey building under construction in Akanbi Crescent, Yaba district of Lagos, collapsed on February 12, 2022, killing five people in the process.
Disaster struck again on May 1, 2022, Workers’ Day, in Ibadan Street, Ebute-Metta region, when 10 tenants lost their lives after a three-storey building collapsed.
Around 24 people were also rescued from the rubble of the collapsed building with varying degrees of injuries while properties worth millions of naira were destroyed.
On May 7, another two-storey building collapsed on Chris Igadi Street, opposite Kilimanjaro, near Ago Palace Way.
According to the report, no one was trapped as all tenants evacuated the area when they observed crumpled signs two hours before the incident.
In the same month, exactly on the 21st, a three-storey building under construction in Alayaki Lane, Lagos Island, collapsed during a downpour, killing four people while five others suffered various injuries. It was learned that the building was initially a bungalow inherited by family members and assigned to a developer who transformed it into a three-story structure.
On Sunday April 24, the auditorium of the Deeper Life Bible Church located in the community of Iragbo in Badagry, collapsed during the church service after heavy rain, leaving six people seriously injured.
Another church, Redeemed Christian Church of God, in a three-storey building under construction in the Mushin area of Lagos, also collapsed around 6:30 p.m. on Friday July 1, 2022.
On Wednesday July 13, 2022, a middle-aged man, Emeka Mba, escaped death when a two-storey building of another church, Divine Christ Apostolic Church, at Oke Arin Street, Ilupeju, Palmgroove in Lagos, collapsed in the early hours of the day. The building was found to have been in distress for nearly a year, showing signs of collapse, but the owner who inherited the property from his late father and church founder was only indifferent to the dilapidated building rather busy collecting rent.
Recently, on August 21, 2022, a tank scaffolding of a two-storey building under renovation in Lady-Lark, Bariga, Lagos State fell on a bungalow and claimed the lives of two boys; Ayomide Adedeji, 13, and Oluwatosin David, 27, while their mother, Olaoye Funmisho, and Kudirat Azeez, 30, survived the incident.
Funmisho, who suffered serious injuries, is currently fighting for his survival at Igbobi National Orthopedic Hospital, Lagos.
This all happened before that of a seven-storey building under construction on Oba Idowu Oniru Street, Lagos State, collapsed at 3 a.m. on Sunday, September 4, 2022 and claimed the lives of six people.
Former State Planning and Urban Development Commissioner Idris Salako, before his resignation over the incident, revealed the property developer had been ‘hostile’ to agency officials sent to the site.
He added that the site had been sealed three times but the developer continued to break the seal to continue construction.
Multiple building collapses in Nigeria’s commercial hub in recent years have nothing to do with the lack of effective government oversight, experts say.
The Chairman, Nigeria Institute Architects, Lagos State Chapter, David Majekodunmi expressed concern over the growing wave of building collapses in the state.
According to him, there is a need for the state government to strengthen oversight and enforcement of existing laws and new laws, as well as improve efforts to domesticate the National Building Code.
He said: “If there is really good oversight and enforcement in place then we won’t have the situation we have now. Also, what is the assurance of those who go out for supervision and enforcement in others to do their job well?
“What makes a building collapse? It’s either the incompetence of the consultants or the fact that the consultants try to take shortcuts. When a site is sealed, the moment it is opened, have the person arrested and let them pay for the demolition.
In addition, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Institute of Construction, Godfrey Godfrey, said construction approvals from government agencies should be reviewed to ensure that proper procedures have been followed before constructions begin. be approved in the state.
According to him, the structures of buildings of five stories and above should undergo a peer review, in which private consultants will be engaged to carry out the relevant checks and advise on these structures before approval. .
“Approvals that have been issued especially for multi-storey buildings require some sort of verification for an experienced hand to review the structural designs.
In addition, a construction expert and Council representative, Institute of Surveyors of Nigeria, Godwill Pepple, expressed the need for improved soil testing.
He added that the failure of the ground, the poor execution of the construction process and the lack of proper inspection would continue to affect the qualities of the buildings, if nothing was done about it.
According to him, construction records should be followed by effective control.
He said: “In this country, we do building registration as if it were a revenue collection business. Someone comes for his building registration; How effective is the site inspection? These are important aspects on which I think the government must improve.