One death too many — why are Lagos buildings collapsing?

 One death too many — why are Lagos buildings collapsing?

On April 12, a seven-storey building collapsed in the Banana Island area of Lagos state. It is understood that the building was under construction when it suddenly caved in.

In a terse statement, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the state said some workers were trapped in the ensuing melee.

In the same vein, the Lagos state ministry of physical planning and urban development, said while some sustained different injuries, no fatality has been recorded so far.

Mukaila Sanusi, the ministry’s deputy director of Public Affairs, said: “A few who sustained injuries are being treated. There is no fatality. This unfortunate incident happened while casting was being done.

“The commissioner for physical planning and urban development, Engr. Tayo Bamgbose-Martins was immediately on site to assess the situation and flag off the investigation.

“We ask members of the public to remain calm and expect further information from the ministry as we know more.”

Expectedly, the incident has continued to elicit intense outrage, with many calling on relevant authorities to ensure justice is served.

This has been the story of Lagos in recent years — building collapsing at intervals and authorities not doing anything beyond the usual ranting and press releases. The political will to tackle the situation has been lacking.

This is in spite of investigations which revealed infractions persist on construction sites, with regulatory officials aiding and abetting violation of building codes.

One death too many

Cases of building collapse in Lagos have increased in recent times.

On November 1, 2021, a 21-storey building, which was being developed by Fourscore Homes, collapsed in the Ikoyi axis of the state.

Forty-six persons died in the incident while 15 others were rescued. Femi Osibona, the owner of Fourscore Homes, was among those who died in the collapsed building.

In February 2022, a three-storey building collapsed in the Onike area of Yaba, leading to several casualties.

In May 2022, the collapse of a three-storey building in the Ebute-Meta axis of the state claimed at least eight lives.

In September 2022, a seven-storey uncompleted building collapsed at Oba Idowu Oniru street, in the Lekki area of Lagos.

Will the ugly trend come to an end anytime soon?

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