Flout building law and go to jail, Lagos govt tells developers

(October 11, 2016) The Lagos state government on Monday read the riot act to developers and contractors, saying that it would no longer tolerate flouting of building regulations in line with its resolve to restore confidence in the building control and supervision process to ensure a safer Lagos.

The state Governor, Akinwumi Ambode who gave the warning in Alausa, Ikeja in a message to the celebration of 2016 World Habitat Day organised by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development with the theme, ‘Housing at the Centre’, said that an additional 187, 500 new houses in the next five years would go a long way to reduce the housing deficit estimated at 2.5 million in the state.

He said that much as his administration is addressing the challenge of housing deficit, the issue of safety concerns in the building sector was also top priority.  

“We are repositioning building control in the State with the engagement of qualified professionals in the built environment to inject the much required professionalism and safety.

“Delivery of decent housing cannot be achieved in a chaotic environment. Hence, we are determined more than ever before to ensure compliance with town planning and building control standards as well as the implementation of our master and model city plans,” Governor Ambode said.

Governor Ambode, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, also restated government’s commitment to simplifying the requirements for access to land and processes for the grant of Certificate of Occupancy and Planning Permits in the state.

He said that that the demand for shelter and new houses had continued to rise due to population growth, increasing urbanisation and daily influx of people into the state, however assuring that his administration would rise to the challenge to address the situation.

Also speaking, human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), commended the state government on the passage of the law on land grabbers, saying it would alleviate the sufferings of land owners.

He commended Lagos State for being consistent in setting aside a day to celebrate the World Habitat Day, saying that it was a testimony to the fact that the government recognized the right of citizens to housing in accordance with Rule 11 of the International Covenant on Human and Peoples' Rights which has been ratified by Nigeria and Section 16 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

In a welcome address, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Wasiu Anifowose, said that Lagos Metropolitan Area had attained a Mega City status due to its population of over 21 million.

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