The Lagos State House of Assembly on Wednesday held stakeholders’ meeting on the laws and regulations that would address inadequacies associated with building collapse in the state.
The State had witnessed series of building collapses especially at Lagos Island.
Stakeholders spoke at the Lateef Jakande Auditorium at the Assembly premises organized by the State House of Assembly Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development headed by Hon. David Setonji.
At the Public Hearing were members of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Nigerian Institute of Engineers, builders, academics, consultants and concern stakeholders among others.
The hearing is on Urban and Regional Planning and Development Amendment Bill,2015.
The meeting also took two regulations. They are Lagos State Building Control Regulations, 2018 and Building Construction and Development.
In his opening remark, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker of the House who was represented by his deputy, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni said that the amendment to the existing regulation would better the state.
Obasa, who recalled recent cases of building collapsed where school children lost their lives, said that such tragedy were all preventable if every hand had been on the deck.
“All these stories of collapsed building with losses of human lives that touch our hearts, I believe are preventable.
“If all officials adhere strictly to rules, some of the losses are preventable. We all have duties, your inputs matter in these regulations to strengthen of law.
Overviewing the regulations, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, said that amendment was to further standandise and enhance building and planning in the state “to make all ugly incidents of building collapse a thing of the past.”
Agunbiade said that the stakeholders’ meeting was in respect of the Building Control Regulations, 2018 and Planning Permit Regulations to awaken consciousness of everybody as regards building development.
According to him, the Building Control Regulations has three parts which addressed notice of intention, authorisation and building stages certification, which he said that was to enhance the capacity of the state.
In his contribution, Mr. Lukman Oshodi, the Vice Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, NITP, said that the ranking of Lagos as city is relatively low with respect to building regulations.
Oshodi, who pointed on implementation and enforcement of regulations, said that the group canvassed for accredited certifiers.
Prof. Martins Dada, a building expert, called for adequate planning, saying that contributions technology, builder should be looked into.
Dada, who noted that Lagos State should exceed the minimum requirements in building control, but said that regulations itself being considered did not meet the minimum requirements.
He said registered builders should supervise buildings and not the regulatory agencies.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye said the executive bill was transmitted in 2017, saying “when we have a substantive law, there must be regulations to implement it.
Ogunleye said that professionals must give their inputs so that there would be compliance.
The Chairman of SON Committee on Standardisation, Prof Joseph said that the state Assembly law must not violate Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN Act.
He added that the Act gives COREN to regulate engineers, proposing that COREN should go to sites and perform their statutory duties.
Another stakeholders called for submission of topography survey of the land, saying “it should be mandatory to have civil/structural engineers are on sites.
Also, Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), Kunle Awogbebi, who said that he was part of the team that worked on 2010 Physical Planning Law, said that professional builders should be engaged in building demolition to avoid injuries.
He explained that major cause of building collapse was that “what goes on site does not correspond to what approved and unqualified people being on site.
The building collapse issue is of more paramount. Many building were being demolished without compliance to safety specification.
He called for understanding of demolition process, saying most officials engaging in this are not knowledgeable then they get injured.
Mr. Tunji Odunlami, a retired Permanent Secretary from the Ministry commended the government for responding to the challenges
He said that the regulations should not be limited to Building Control, Physical Planning Permit Authority, but be extended to Lagos State Urban Renewal Authority.
In his words, Aladeloba, said that government cannot control building but it can control the builders, saying LABSCA does not have the wherewithal not the personnel to supervise building control.
He said, “it is easier for the government to control me than it is easier to control building. Government can beginning to look at controlling builders than building. LABSCA should control the building controllers rather than the other way round.
Prof. Leke Oduwoye, a town planner, and architect said development control is a course in university, saying many so called professionals are not knowledgeable and well trained.
He said there was confusion on the field as people going to site were not well trained.
Mr. Oreoluwa Fadayowa, the immediate past president of the Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers, who also lamented short notice for the public hearing, called for restructuring of LABCA.
Fadayomi said there were specialists, saying not all structural engineers are civil engineers, calling for drawing of the lines.
He said there is a difference between planning permit and development permit, saying bringing the two on physical planning was where the state got it wrong.
Moses Ogunleye, another stakeholders said that whatever the House would do on the regulations should not be harmful to the developers instead enhance ease of doing business.
Commissioner for Physical Planning, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye, commended the House for the amendment to the existing law, said that base on the challenges on the field there is the need for an agency to do integrity and material test.
Prof. Joseph Okorie, Registrar of COREN, said that design and construction should be separated into two units rather than fusion, saying design is the beginning of all.
For a better society