Nigeria’s Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) has warned the government that as many as 36,000 building in the country’s commercial capital of Lagos are in danger of failing.
The BCPG spoke out after a three-storey building that housed a primary and nursery school as well as apartments collapsed on Lagos Island on 13 March.
Akinwunmi Ambode, the governor of Lagos State, said the school had been operating illegally in a residential building, and that most of the buildings in the area had been marked for demolition. He called for a "full scale investigation" into the cause of the collapse.
The warning was delivered by Akinola George, the BCPG’s president, on Monday, 25 March. He blamed the danger on faulty designs and "half baked" developers.
Akinola said: "It may be a surprise to many that most buildings in Lagos State are not constructed by the people who are properly trained to do so. Architects, civil, structural, mechanical and electrical engineers, quantity surveyors, builders and land surveyors are virtual onlookers on the scene, as they participate in less than 20% of the total volume of construction activities going on in the state."
He added that a survey revealed that Lagos State had more than 45,000 active sites at any one time, which mean that 36,000 of them were in the hands of "quacks and other faceless characters by whatever names called".
Particular areas of concern were Lagos Island, Oworonshoki, Bariga, Somolu, Ebute Meta, Mushin and Ajegunle. He said that the Lagos masterplan should be reviewed, and buildings demolished that were below the standard required by Nigeria’s building code.
Image: Downtown Lagos (Dreamstime)