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Lagos Island: Collapsing burnt house kills Policeman as demolition begins

More tragedies are still emerging from Today there are 3 fire outbreaks in Lagos Island Central Business District of Balogun Market, Dosunmu Market & Radio Nigeria building at Oluwole as Governor visits, orders demolition of affected structures.

Business Hilights gathered on Wednesday that a weak section of the six-storey building located at 43 Martins Street, Lagos Island, collapsed around 8:30p.m. on Tuesday hitting a policeman who later died of severe bodily injuries.

While confirming the death, Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Lagos Central Business District, Mr Olanrewaju Elegushi, decried that the policeman died in hospital as a result of the injuries even as others with minor wounds are receiving treatments.

Before now, analysts had continued to express worries on the manner of building developments and manner of approvals without statutory access spaces between buildings in the axis over the years.

This has made Lagos Island, especially Balogun business areas to be far from resilience to disasters unlike other city states as the axis has continued to make any form of spirited disaster response template feeble and weak containment capabilities.

Experts had linked the long reign of the inferno (over eighteen hours) to accessibility crisis on the Island.

Observers had continued to educate the Lagos authorities that intelligently designed and tested comprehensive environmental management solutions are the key to having a resilient city and this is one of the urgently required public service deliverables in Lagos State.

While arguing that tax payers deserve a safe, secured and certified place to conduct their businesses as well as to reside in safe enclaves and commute in safety, it has become clear that no administration in the state can restore building development sanity in Lagos Island.

Meanwhile, yesterday, the Lagos State Government commenced the demolition of another five-storey building that was razed at the Balogun Market on Tuesday.

The exercise began on the orders of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu following his visit to the scene to commiserate with traders, who lost goods worth millions of naira to the inferno.

While admitting that the 23 hours joint infernos has brought to the fore the need for a total regeneration of the Lagos Island to prevent further occurrences, he said very soon, government will hold meetings with the owners of abandoned high-rise buildings in the area to fashion out better uses for such properties.

According to him, “This fire incident presents discussion for a complete regeneration of the Lagos Island. Here, we have a lot of buildings as old as a century. Now is the time to look into the master plan for a complete regeneration of the entire area. All families must support our move to start the regeneration.

“We also have abandoned high-rise buildings on the island and we have done an audit of all these buildings. We need to have conversation with the owners on how we can put the abandoned properties to better use.

“There are a lot of traders, who wish to take their wares off the road and occupy these abandoned buildings. We need to talk to the owners and reach an agreement with them on a scheme that will make traders use the abandoned properties.

“I have summoned an emergency meeting with all local government chairmen. We cannot condone the reckless approach in which shops are allocated to people in a manner that is not coordinated. When problems arise, they come back to the state government. We will not fold our arms and wait for disasters like this to be repeated.”

On the demolition exercise, the General Manager, Lagos Building Control Agency, Abiola Kosegbe, explained that the building suffered partial collapse, adding that the demolition had to be undertaken to avert disaster.