The Lagos State Government has recently divulged that it has plans to carry out structural integrity tests on building older than five years in the state, as it has become imperative to determine their structural stability.
The state government bemoaned the increasing cases of houses collapsing in the state, which he largely attributed to poor compliance with the State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law, 2010.
The General Manager of Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) Mr. Olalekan Shodeinde, revealed the audit plan after he sealed up a two-storey building that collapsed in Alagbado, Lagos yesterday.
After he sealed the building, the general manager noted that buildings above five years would be structurally investigated to determine their strength and certify safe rather waiting for buildings to collapse before taking decision.
He disclosed that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, has ordered post-construction audit of all buildings in the state in order to avert rising cases of building collapse and mandated the agency to extend its activities towards that area.
Shodeinde explained that the post-construction audit involved all building owners in Lagos submitting their building permits for verification, while those who never had permits would be made to obtain such at cheaper rate rather than allowing government to enforce the law.
He added that once government was satisfied with the permit, such a building would be asked to undergo integrity test after which a certificate of habitation would be issued to certify that the house was fit for habitation.
The LASBCA GM explained that building owners without permit would be made to get such after which integrity test would be carried out to ascertain the structural durability of such buildings before certificate of habitation would be issued.
“Any building above five years should be subjected to integrity test. Government is taken this lead because of where we found ourselves. The law said everybody should have a certificate of habitation,” he said.
Pertaining to the collapsed building, Shodeinde said that the owner of the unfortunate building, Mr Moses Oriarebun, illegally added more floors to it without considering the building’s foundation which was suspected to be designed for a bungalow.
He said that as the rainy season was approaching, more buildings with defective structure would be revealed by the incessant downpour, but added that a structural test would enable the property owners to do the needful before the buildings eventually collapse.
He appealed to the residents not to keep shut on observing a building whether existing, under-construction or renovation with questionable integrity to raise the alarm and inform the government before it would be too late.