The Nigerian Society of Engineers, Lagos Branch, has advised the Federal Government to give out the old Federal Secretariat complex in Ikoyi, Lagos, to the state government or educational institutions.
The Chairman of the branch, Mr Johnson Akinwande, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos that giving out the secretariat complex would save it from rot.
Akinwande said that earlier moves by the Federal Government to sell the asset to private individuals failed because the individuals wanted to use it for activities that did not meet the Lagos master plan for the area.
He said that the operations of educational institutions would tally with the master plan.
“Plans to turn the building into a hotel did not work out because the sewage system, water system and other facilities were not meant for a hotel.
“If the Federal Government gives it to institutions, and we have a postgraduate school there, for example, it will conform to the master plan.
“The Federal Government should not allow the property to rot away; it is either it hands it over to Lagos State Government or institutions.
“If the government wants to sell it, it should sell it in agreement with the master plan,” he said.
Akinwande said that leaving the building fallow was not good for both Lagos State and Nigeria.
Some other residents of Lagos, who spoke to NAN, called for urgent measures to prevent security breach in the area.
Mrs Tonia Nweke, a banker, said: “I work in Ikoyi; the state of the property worries me because some hoodlums live in that place and have enough space to perpetrate atrocities.
“The government should take pro-active measures before those criminals begin to unleash mayhem on all of us using the building as their base,” she said.
A commercial bus driver on Ojodu-Berger-Ibafo Route, Mr Sunday Awoniyi, urged the Federal Government to put the building to good use.
“Government knows what to do; Nigeria is just losing money because some of those at the helm of affairs do not care,” he said.
A mechanical engineer, Mr Alabi Gbadegeshi, urged the government to convert the building to an extension for embassies.
NAN reports that the Federal Secretariat, Lagos, was built in 1976 but the 15-storey building which was once the heartbeat of the nation, was abandoned in 1991 following the relocation of the country’s capital from Lagos to Abuja.
Apart from the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), which temporarily occupied one of the secretariat’s wings, no organisation has used it since 1991.
NAFDAC left the building when its office was gutted by fire.(NAN)