With the high rate of building collapses in the country, the Lagos State’s Building Control Agency (LASBCA) has embarked on a massive clampdown on property owners without building permits as part of measure towards restoring sanity and safety in the environment.
It was a four-day exercise, which started last week in collaboration with the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development. The exercise began in Eti-Osa Local council of the state after the expiration of a month deadline of a notice issued to developers and landowners to obtain necessary building permits from the relevant government agencies.
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LASBCA General Manager, Dotun Lasoju who led the team with a backup of the Nigerian Police force, said the exercise is necessary to enforce the law on estates in the state.
He explained that the issue of safety of buildings and the citizens can no longer be compromised, lamenting that some of the estates have prevented officers of the state building control agencies from carrying out the lawful duties.
“We find pockets of few around where works had been stopped and construction workers kept building in defiance of interventions of LASBCA.
These are unacceptable conducts from building owners and developers. Building construction is now a partnership, owners at inception invite LABSCA to participate in construction, get necessary permits so that we can get it right in the building world and achieve a win-win situation”
Lasoju stated that sanctions for non-conformity by defaulters ranges from having to contend with the sealing of the estates or building premises to paying penalties where approvals were not even obtained in the first instance.
“Penalties can be very severe and these will be taken as the individual merit and as the case may be. More importantly, we want to make sure that we deal with recalcitrant. We have spoken to architects, engineers as well as bricklayers who participate in construction so that building owners take LASBCA as a friend” he said.
According to him, the process of stage certification has tremendous benefits for building owners so that they could later be issued a certificate of fitness for buildings.
He explained that the collaboration between LASBCA, its sister agencies like LASPPPA was an approach for developers to get the whole gamut of planning right, from the process of obtaining the layout permit to the point of commencement of construction which is controlled by LASBCA.
Also speaking, the Director, Development Permit Department of LASPPPA, Adeshina Akin, explained that government has invested several billions of naira in preparing the Lekki Development Master Plan; hence it was the duty of the building control agencies to ensure that development along the axis was tailored according to the plan.
Akin, a town planner observed that the developers and homeowners were building without recourse to planning permits and the only way to control that was to ensure that individual and corporate organizations comply with law of the land.
Source: The Guardian