No fewer than 50 persons have been recovered from the collapsed Lagos building which occurred in the early hours of Wednesday. Many are feared dead while some are receiving treatment at various hospitals in the state.
It is so disheartening that such a horrible incidence could still play out in the state. Over the last 13 years, more than 150 buildings have collapsed in the state. Recall that a Tribunal of Enquiry on Building Collapse was constituted in 2013 by the then Governor of the State, Babatunde Raji Fashola to look into the spate cases of the building collapse in the state and the causes of such imbroglio.
The tribunal discovered that the problem persisted chiefly because most building projects were handled by quacks and unprofessional builders. The chairperson of the tribunal, Abimbola Ajayi, also bemoaned the poor enforcement of the state’s building control law has also contributed to the menace.
While a chunk of the fault may be attributed to the builders of such buildings, and selfishness of such building owners to yield to Government policies and orders to vacant such premises, other stakeholders might have also contributed to the incidence through their loud silence where they ought to speak out.
The non-owner occupants(tenants) of such buildings have a role to play in forestalling such occurrence. They live there, they can tell better without being biased, the true state of the building. They need to speak out and report to the appropriate authority as soon as any obnoxious sign is suspected. They stand to lose nothing if they speak out but may pay dearly with their lives if they fail to do the needful.
Neighbours and others landlords should call the attention of Government to any building that they perceive to be too weak for habitation, and report landlords that try to bribe government officials to the appropriate disciplinary agencies.
The state government has cried out after the incidence that over 1000 buildings in Ita Faji area of Lagos state where the collapse occurred have been earmarked for demolition due to their dilapidated and weak state, but the landlords have always bribed their way through with the Government officials that do come for inspection.