The Lagos State government has appealed to residents of the state to call its attention to any illegal development in any area of the state.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Wasiu Anifowoshe, noted that whistle-blowing was the best way to tackle that incessant building collapse in the state.
He made the call on Monday at the site of a collapsed building in Idumota, Lagos Island, said to be a defective three-storey building under illegal renovation with occupants residing in it.
Mr Anifowoshe said: “This is one out of several worrisome experiences we face every day on the job. Dealing with illegal developments here and there in Lagos State should be a joint effort between Lagosians (residents) and government.
“We need information of such unlawful activities from responsible Lagosians, so as to be able to curb the excesses of unscrupulous developers and owners of property in Lagos State”.
He disclosed that the state government has recruited more field officers to ensure effective monitoring of defective structures, stressing that government cannot do it alone.
“A distress call to 767 or 117 would have averted this ugly incident. In this particular case, the owners took advantage of the long holiday and the fact that the building is hidden right inside those narrow streets in Lagos Island to quickly carry out an unlawful renovation but unfortunately, the building came down,” the commissioner stated.
He, however, said that the State Rescue Team from relevant agencies were making combined efforts in the ongoing rescue operation being carried out at the site.
Anifowoshe added that so far, reports showed that two people have died while 14 other victims who were trapped have been rescued alive and given adequate medical treatment.