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Lagos spots 145 illegally converted buildings

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In order to reduce building collapse in the metropolis, the Lagos State Government, through its building control agency, has discovered 145 illegal buildings in the state.
General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABSCA), Mr. Olalekan Shodehinde, disclosed this in a statement.
The 145 identified structures, which were illegally converted from residential to commercial usage, have been served planning permit and post-construction notices, according to a statement from the LASBCA.
These buildings were identified during the public campaign embarked on by LABSCA to inform the residents that all buildings in the state must have valid building approval plan.
Most of the buildings were identified within Yaba, Tejuosho and Oyingbo areas of the state.
Shodehinde said that almost all the structures within the arena, which were initially for residential purposes, had been converted to commercial purposes without requisite approval plan or due regularisation with the agency.
He noted that 14 days ultimatum had been given to the owners of the affected buildings to visit the LABSCA and Lagos State Physical pPanning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) district offices to do the necessary regularisation.
He said: “Virtually all the buildings within this axis are initially for residential purposes but now have been converted to commercial purposes without approval of the agency. Many of the structures do not have approval plan even at the inception of the buildings before the conversion, which implies they are illegal buildings from the beginning.
“Regularising the buildings on or before the 14 days grace will attract no penalty. But at expiration of the duration, LABSCA will come to completely enforce compliance.”
He, therefore, urged every owner/developer within the area whose property was not covered by a planning permit to regularise the property with the agency.
He explained that the regularisation and validation of buildings were necessary because infrastructural facilities has been overstressed, leading to excessive influx of people and traffic gridlock within the axis.
He added that the exercise was being carried out to curb the incidence of building collapse in the state, saying that the government would not fold its arms and allow loss of lives and destruction of property.
Also, the General Manager, LASPPA, Mr Funmi Osifuye, expressed optimism that most occupants of the served structures would comply to the notices.
Osifuye said that many of tenants received the notice with excitement promising to deliver the information to the landlords of the buildings.
“The sensitisation exercise and Post-Construction Audit of all existing structures in the state will continue until full compliance is achieved. The essence is to match-up with necessary infrastructural developments to achieve a sustainable and well-planned environment,” he said.

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