In continuation of its enforcement activities aimed at clamping down on illegal physical development in different parts of the State, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) on Wednesday arrested seven persons for violating the State’s Building Codes in Eti-Osa and Ikoyi areas of the State respectively.
The arrested persons, which include site engineers and other built professionals, were arraigned before the Lagos State Mobile Court sitting in Eti-Osa Local Government Council Secretariat and Lagos State Task Force Office, Arena Oshodi for questioning and a fair hearing.
Speaking after the enforcement exercise, the General Manager of LASBCA, Arc. Gbolahan Oki explained that the clampdown on the various construction sites and workers was in a bid to reduce the level of illegalities in the built industry and ultimately avert possible building collapse.
Oki, who informed that the arrested persons were apprehended for building without Planning Permit Approvals and for breaking government seals, decried the level of disregard for government agencies in charge of issuing permits and building control activities, saying that officials of the agency had been harassed at different times while on official duties.
He added that the sealed construction sites would not be reopened until due diligence is followed and necessary approvals obtained from relevant government agencies.
The General Manager revealed that the use of the mobile court, a new strategy by LASBCA, was necessitated by the need to promptly give a fair hearing to persons apprehended for contravening building regulation codes
In his words: “The idea of using the mobile court for quick adjudication to persons arrested for building code contravention was embraced by LASBCA after we noticed that people persistently break government seals place on their properties and also disregard Stopwork orders often issued by LASBCA on illegal properties”.
He promised that the State Government will not stop at just prosecuting the defaulters but will also go ahead to publish the names of the defaulters in national newspapers, assuring that the enforcement exercise would be sustained and extended to other divisions and local government areas of the State.
Speaking on physical development activities within the Eti-Osa axis of the State, the General Manager maintained that there is a need to checkmate construction works being carried out by developers and property owners in the area to avert contraventions and enforce compliance with the proposed government plans for the area.
Revealing that what LASBCA wants to achieve is total compliance with physical planning law and building codes, Arc. Oki pleaded with members of the public and built professionals to serve as whistleblowers for the agency.
On his part, the Director of Enforcement, LASBCA, Mr. Olusoji Olaopa added that consistent enforcement activities being carried out by the Agency will assist in drastically reducing illegalities in the built sector through early detection.
He called on professionals in the built sector to endeavour to do due diligence by obtaining all necessary permits and documents as stipulated in the law before the commencement of construction works.