Lagos State government has confiscated the land on which the 21-storey building that collapsed in Ikoyi, saying it has handed over the remaining skyscrapers on the land to a contractor to demolish within 90 days.
The commissioner for physical planning and urban development, Idris Salako, who revealed this at a press conference held in Lagos on the handing over of the complex to the contractor engaged by the government to demolish the structures explained that the state government is taking over the land in line with the state physical planning law which stipulated that owners of collapsed buildings would forfeit the land to the state.
“Section 74 of the Urban and Regional Planning and Development Laws of Lagos State 2019 (as amended) prescribes that any property that collapses in the State is automatically forfeited to the Government.”
Salako said the government had not decided on what to do with the site after the deconstruction.
“When the state government is ready to revive the site, we will let the public know what we want to do with it. However, I can assure you that the land will not be given to any individual developer or converted to unapproved use by the Government. The site will be used for something that will be of benefit the public.”
The deconstruction, which is expected to be completed within 90 days, is to be supervised by relevant agencies of the government and private stakeholders in the built industry.
The development, is part of the recommendations by a six-man panel that investigated the collapse of the 21-storey structure owned by Messrs Fourscore Heights. The panel also recommended criminal prosecution of the developer for contravening the state’s building codes.
It would be recalled that no fewer than 44 persons including the firm’s Managing Director, Femi Osibona; his friend, a United States of America-based Nigerian businessman, Wale Bob-Oseni; his personal assistant, Oyinye Enekwe, and clients died in the collapsed building.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy Gbenga Omotoso, at a press briefing in Lagos, said safety would be the main consideration in the deconstruction, as he assured residents in the neighbourhood of their safety throughout the exercise, noting that measures had been put in place to ensure that the contractor maintains the agreed safety protocols.
“The deconstruction will be done with one key focus from all stakeholders; this is safety of people in the neighbourhood and everybody that will be working on the site. The recommendations of the panel are being implemented to prevent this kind of incident”.
On his part, the commissioner for special duties and intergovernmental affairs, Tayo Bamgbose-Martins, said the state government has no business with those who have paid to own apartments in the building that collapsed, saying the state government would not consider compensating them.