Lagos State government has confiscated the land on which the 21-storey building that collapsed in Ikoyi, saying it has handed over the remaining skyscrapers on the land to a contractor to demolish within 90 days.
The commissioner for physical planning and urban development, Dr Idris Salako, who revealed this at a press conference held in Lagos on the handing over of the complex to the contractor engaged by the government to demolish the structures said the state government is taking over the land in line with the state physical planning law which stipulated that owners of collapsed buildings would forfeit the land to the state.
It would be recalled that the 21-storey building belonging to Fourscore Heights Limited which was located on Gerrard Road in Ikoyi collapsed on November 1, 2021, killing 44 people including the firm’s Managing Director, Femi Osibona; his friend, a United States of America-based Nigerian businessman, Wale Bob-Oseni; his personal assistant, Oyinye Enekwe, and clients.
According to him, though the state government has not taken a decision on what it would use the land for, but whenever it wants to put it to use, it is likely to be used for something that will help to remember those who died in the collapsed building.
Salako stated that the demolition would be done having the interest of the public including the residents at heart.
The commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said the buildings are to go down because one of the recommendations of the panel set up by the government was for the buildings to be demolished because they failed integrity tests.
Omotoso promised that any action taken on the project would be in the interest of the public, disclosing that a stakeholders’ meeting had previously been held to interact with residents and stakeholders in the building industry.
Also commenting, the commissioner for special duties and intergovernmental affairs, Tayo Bamgbose-Martins, said the state government has no business with those who have paid to own apartments in the building that collapsed, saying the state government would not consider compensating them.
In his remarks, the managing director of Edge of Designs, Theophilus Lewo, said the deconstruction would take about 90 days but might be extended due to weather, rain and the safety of the workers.