By Adebisi Adeyemi Lagos, Nigeria
Lagos State Government has insisted that whistle blowing is the surest way to tackle the incessant building collapse in the State, adding that Lagosians must be willing to assist Government by raising alarm whenever they see any illegal development in any area of the State.
Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Tpl. Wasiu Anifowoshe gave the charge at the site of the collapsed building at No 9, Daddy Alaja St. Idumota, Lagos Island, which was a defective three storey building under illegal renovation with occupants still residing in it.
Anifowoshe said: ” This is one out of several worrisome experiences we face everyday on the job. Dealing with illegal developments here and there in Lagos State should be a joint effort between Lagosians and Government. We need information of such unlawful activities from responsible Lagosians so as to be able to curb the excesses of unscrupulous developers and owners of property in Lagos State.”
He added that to avert such occurrences, the State Government recently recruited additional field officers to ensure effective monitoring of defective structures however noting that government cannot do it alone.
He said, “A distress call to 767 or 117 would have averted this ugly incident. In this particular case, the owners took advantage of the long Holiday and the fact that the building is hidden right inside those narrow streets in Lagos Island to quickly carry out an unlawful renovation but unfortunately, the building came down.”
Anifowoshe, however, said that the State Rescue Team from relevant agencies were fully on ground making combined efforts in the ongoing rescue operation being carried out, adding that so far, reports show that two people have died and 14 victims who were trapped have been rescued alive and given adequate medical treatment.