Lagos Will Investigate Video Clip Of Unapproved Synagogue Building – Commissioner

Toyin_AyindeThe Lagos State Commissioner for Town Planning and Urban Development, Mr Toyin Ayinde, on Wednesday said the state government will investigate the authenticity of the clip showing a helicopter hovering over a building minutes before it collapsed within the premises of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), adding that the collapsed building has no approval from the state government.

“We are investigating the CCTV clip. One thing we noticed was that there were about four planes that moved at different times of the day. Because that area is within the flight corridor, there was a pattern in the movement. You will see them in an ascending direction, meaning that they were just taking off from the airport.

“But because of the distance of the aircraft from the building, relative to where the camera is situated, you cant say if it is the same aircraft; you can’t say whether there are four different aircrafts, but one of the things we want to suggest is that any aircraft that is going to drop anything on a building will likely be in a stable position and not while it is rising”, he said

He also said the Federal Government installed CCTV cameras would have also helped in fighting crime in the state and monitoring such collapses but noted that none of them has been activated.

“The Federal Government has set up cameras in Lagos State and those cameras have not been activated. They also would have helped us in detecting some crimes and finding out somethings that are happening, especially in those areas where the cameras have been situated.”

He said the Lagos State government has drafted a letter to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) “so that they can be able to advice us on which aircrafts flew at those hours of the day and what was their relative position and altitude in terms of the collapsed building”.

He further noted that “the second reason why we are doing further investigations is that if you look at that clips, the manner of collapse seems to be a controlled collapse; which is why there is need for further investigations” adding that “as at yesterday, there were parts of the ground floor that were already exposed and we have already sent our engineers there to take samples so that we are able to find out what kind of materials were (used) there”.

Mr Ayinde ruled out the possibility of the building being too close to a flight corridor and being too frail to be brought down by the sound and wave of an aircraft, noting that “the surrounding buildings must have had some cracks; which is part of what we are also asking our engineers to investigate.

He however didn’t give a time frame for the completion of the investigation but assured that “it is on the front burner of the government and everybody is very concerned about the collapse”, insisting that “this collapse will be a lesson that everybody will learn from”.

He further noted that “that particular structure does not have approval. Because if it came for approval, we will have a name of the designers, structural engineers, architects and so on. But on our records we don’t have that and somebody has to explain what was done and what was not done”

The Commissioner, who was speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, also urged Nigerians to be interested in the lives that were lost and sympathise with the bereaved families.

Lagos Is Building Affordable Houses Not Low Cost Housing Estate – Commissioner

Toyin AyindeThe Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development in Lagos State, Toyin Ayinde on Tuesday said that several housing projects the State was working on were not “low cost housing estates” as they had been labelled, emphasising that the houses were going to be affordable to the citizens.

Ayinde, who was a guest on Sunrise Daily, on Tuesday, said: “Lagos State hasn’t published that it is developing low cost housing, because indeed there is no low cost cement, there is no low cost iron rod, there are no low cost building materials, therefore, what we have said is that we are embarking on affordable housing.”

The houses, which are located in different areas of the State, cost between 3.5 million Naira and 15 million Naira. However, the commissioner described the houses as affordable, explaining that buyers would be able “to access a mortgage system that runs on an interest rate that has never been presented to stakeholders before.”

He also explained that the cost of building the houses would determine the purchase price.

On the Ilubirin project, Ayinde said actual construction was yet to commence on the site, disclosing that the project which would have houses of 7 floors, was yet to have a price.

There had been complains about the location of the project which is close to a high tension cable, but the commissioner said that the required setback had been adhered to and that those who had concluded that the State government was building under such a cable were being mischievous.

“For that grade of high tension cable, it’s a 46 meters corridor… that has been factored into the project,” he said.

He further explained that the estate was 2.5 meters above sea level and would not contribute to flood issues. “It was sand-filled before I got to government in July 2011 so whoever is saying it will contribute to flooding is not saying the truth,” he said.

On the latest building collapse in Oworonshoki area of Lagos, the Commissioner explained that it was due to bad construction. He noted that the agency had initially sealed off the site but the contractors had broken the seal to continue working.