Following the recent instances of building collapses in Lagos State, the Osborne Foreshore Residents Association (OSFRA) Board of Directors called on the state government, under the leadership of Governor Babatunde Sanwo- Olu, to enforce building and environmental laws to protect the public from unnecessary deaths and loss of property due to building collapses.
According to OSFRA, construction work in its area by some developers is untoward and has reached an infuriating crescendo, with major developers acting in violation of existing laws governing the construction of high-rise buildings.
OSFRA President Chinwe Mba said that “all requests by OSFRA to consider planning approval allowing ongoing developments in the field are always rebuffed by the developer with the excuse that we do not have no legal right to seek their planning approvals.”
OSFRA had accused the developers of raising high-rise apartment buildings in the estate contrary to what is required by the Lagos State planning laws and also breaching the density level requirements, the parking setbacks and air space laws, among others.
“In view of these contraventions, the consequences are serious. For example, it should be noted that along the Lekki/Ajah axis, MM. Lekki Garden Estate Limited experienced a series of collapsed buildings resulting in the death of over 30 souls. In the past eight months within our estate, three of their workers have fallen from three different construction sites, unfortunately resulting in untimely deaths,” the president said.
This was the basis of a series of litigations by OSFRA to combat the violation of laws by builders within the field.
“Developers are very powerful and well-connected,” so enforcing compliance has become a mirage. For example, the planning commissioner recently visited what he called a ticketing site and sealed it off. However, “within days, the site was reopened and Lekki Gardens pursued the tickets relentlessly,” noted lawyer Mba.
Therefore, OFSR has called for the urgent and immediate cessation of all breaches and the commissioning of a detailed planning audit and structural integrity assessment of all Lekki Gardens projects/ Eaux d’estran by the Ministry of Spatial Planning and Urban Development.
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OSFRA trustees are begging the Lagos government to enforce building and environmental laws. OSFRA trustees are begging the Lagos government to enforce building and environmental laws.