A pregnant woman, the proprietor of the nursery-Primary school and 19 others, including no fewer than 12 pupils died in the collapsed building at Massey Street, Itafaji on Lagos Island on Wednesday, witnesses and hospital sources said.

Following the increase in cases of building collapse, professionals in the built environment have asked the Lagos State Government to declare a state of emergency in distressed buildings across the state.

The professionals said structures without appropriate approvals should also be categorised as dangerous and be adequately addressed.

The Lagos Chapter Chairman of the Building Collapse Prevention Guild, Mr Adeyinka Ogunseye, said the Lagos State Government needed be proactive and should develop a zero tolerance approach towards building collapse which had become almost a regular occurrence in the state.

The call is coming on the heels of the recent collapse of a building under construction in Ikoyi which claimed one life and injured four workers on site.

Ogunseye said the government should come out fully and let the public know their blueprints on how to curb the menace of building collapse.

He said, “In the past few years, we have registered and recorded building collapse events such as the Synagogue Church of All Nations at Idimu-Lagos where over 100 lives were lost; Lekki Gardens collapsed building at Ikate-Lagos; partial building collapse of an ongoing project at the University of Lagos; Ita-Faaji building structure collapse; Magodo mudslide that caused building collapse and the most recent is the partial collapse of a building on Glover Court, Ikoyi-Lagos. We need to know the government’s plan on these ugly incidents.”

The National President, BCPG, Mr Akinola George, said the failure on the part of Lagos State Government to investigate several past cases of building collapse in the state with offenders adequately punished meant there had never been any deterrence to forestall future collapse.

He said agencies and ministries overseeing the building approval and control process in the state had been compromised, adding that officials were also increasingly becoming overwhelmed in performing their oversight functions.

“We call on the state government to set up building code enforcement officers to monitor projects on behalf of the state, while the BCPG will serve as the intermediary between the control officers and the government,” he said.

A surveyor, Jide Olayinka, said synergy among all building professionals would drive action towards stemming the worrisome trend.

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