The Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa on Wednesday said that most cases of collapsed buildings in the state were preventable with collective efforts of all professionals.
Obasa disclosed this at a-Day Stakeholders’ Meeting on Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Regulations 2018, Building Control Regulations 2018 as well as the Urban and Regional Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2015.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the public hearing was organised by the House Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development headed by Mr Setonji David (APC-Badagry II).
The Speaker, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni said that the regulations and amendments would make the state better and end building collapses.
Obasa, who highlighted recent cases of building collapses where school children were victims, said that such tragedy could be prevented if every hand were on deck with enabling regulations.
“We appreciate your presence and we feel that the state and all of us would be better for it at the end of the day. On March 13th 2019 there was a building collapse in Ita Faaji and many pupils died.
“On 25th of March, 2019 another building collapsed in Kaakawa area of Lagos Island. All those stories that touch the heart are preventable if all of us do the right thing.
“I want to believe that these three regulations touch on aspects of constructing buildings. I believe that if all officers adhere strictly to all these, there would not be building collapse in Lagos Island or anywhere.
“We all have duties to protect the vulnerable children and adults that were affected by the building collapse. We should do all we can to protect our buildings. Your inputs matter in all regulations.’’
Over viewing, the Majority Leader of the House, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, said that the Building Control Regulations has three parts which included-Notice, Plans and Certificates; Building Construction and Development and Statutory Notices, Offences and Penalties.
On the Physical Planning Permit Regulations, Agunbiade said that the regulations comprised approval to carry out development, application for planning permit, submission of application among others.
On a bill for a law to amend the Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2015, he said that the amendment to the bill would give life to the regulations.
According to Agunbiade, the bill seeks to amend 11 out of the 103 sections of the extant law, and introduce a new 27 sections as well as repeal the Lagos State Model City Development Authority law.
NAN reports that the public hearing was well attended by members of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Nigerian Institute of Engineers, academics, consultants and concern stakeholders among others.
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The stakeholders, who took turns to commend the regulations and proposed amendment, advocated engagement of various professionals like structural engineers, civil engineers, architects and others to stem the tide.
Some of the stakeholders, however, said that the notice of the public hearing was too short for adequate planning and robust contributions by them.
In his contribution, Mr Lukman Oshodi, the Vice Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), said that the rank of Lagos as city was relatively low in respect to building regulations.
Oshodi, who called for engagement of qualified professionals, harped on implementation and enforcement of regulations and also advocated accredited certifiers.
Prof. Martins Dada, a building expert, who called for adequate planning, said that the state should exceed the minimum requirements in building control.
Dada said that regulations under consideration did not even meet the minimum requirements, adding that registered builders should supervise buildings and not the regulatory agencies.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineers, Lagos State Chapter, Mrs Lola Adetona called for timeline for approval of permit and the cost.
“It is mandatory to have a civil/structural engineer on site. Sewage treatment plant should also be handled by a qualified civil engineer,’’ Adetona said.
Also, Mr Kunle Awobodu of the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) noted that some people employed by Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABSCA) to monitor sites were not qualified.
He said that professional builders should be engaged in building demolition/deconstruction to avoid unnecessary injuries by quacks.
Prof. Leke Oduwoye, a Town Planner and Architect said that development control was a course in university, saying that many so called professionals were not knowledgeable and well-trained.
Oduwoye called on professionals to know their boundaries to avoid confusion on the field.
In the opinion of Mr Moses Ogunleye, a Town Planner said that regulations should not be harmful to the developers but instead enhance ease of doing business.
Mr Rotimi Ogunleye, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development said:“When we have a substantive law, there must be regulations to implement it.’’
The commissioner said that the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory (LSMTL) law operations were relevant to the MPP & UD, hence it should not be deleted as being proposed.
He said that the ministry had been finding it problematic implementing the section 74 of the extant law, which bothers on forfeiture of property.
Earlier, the committee chairman, David said that the public hearing was to ensure proper building development and end tales of woes due to incessant building collapse.