…Isolates 2 buildings at Martins street to avoid further disaster***
The Lagos State Government on Wednesday said that there was a need for total regeneration of Lagos Island to prevent incidents that could endanger the lives of residents.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said this when he visited the five-storey building completely razed at Balogun Market in Lagos Island on Tuesday, even as two buildings preceding No 43 Martins street, gutted by fired had been isolated to avoid disaster.
Sanwo-Olu, in a statement, said that the move to regenerate the area would include meeting with owners of some abandoned high-rise buildings dotting the area for possible use of the property.
According to him, government will conduct integrity test on all buildings in the Central Business District (CBD) in Lagos Island and re-visit the regeneration master plan designed by the previous administrations.
He urged families that owned property on the Lagos Island to support the move.
“This fire incident presents discussion for complete regeneration of Lagos. Here, we have a lot of buildings as old as a century. Now is the time to look into the masterplan for complete regeneration of entire area.
“We also have abandoned high-rise buildings on the Island and we have done audit of all these buildings.
“We need to have conversation with the owners on how we can put the abandoned property to better use. There are a lot of traders who wish to take away their wares from the road and occupy these abandoned building.
“We need to talk with the owners and reach an agreement on a scheme that would make traders use the abandoned property,” the governor said.
Sanwo-Olu condemned the hazardous and unsafe conditions created by some traders who used heavy generating sets on topmost floors of multi-storey buildings in the market.
He said that the integrity test to be conducted on the buildings would ensure enforcement of structural codes to prevent traders from creating conditions that would endanger lives and property.
The governor also said that his administration would build the Phase II of the Oluwole Modern Market to discourage street trading and eliminate incidents of fire and other hazards associated with uncoordinated trading.
”I have summoned an emergency meeting with all local government areas chairmen later today. We cannot condone reckless approach in which shops are allocated to people in manner that is not coordinated.
“When problems arise, it comes back to the state government. We will not fold our arms and wait for disasters like this to repeat itself,” he said.
The governor said the fire incident should serve as a pointer to Lagosians on the need to place high premium on safety of lives and goods in marketplace.
In the meantime, the Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Central Business District (CBD), Prince Olanrewaju Elegushi, has said that two buildings preceding No 43 Martins street; gutted by fired had been isolated to avoid disaster.
Elegushi stated this in Lagos on Wednesday, noting that the integrity of the building is very questionable because one side of the buildings at 45 and 41 Martins street have cracked and falling by itself as a result of the fire outbreak.
“Between 10: 30 a.m of Tuesday and 6:00p.m of Wednesday the fire was yet to be put out, despite all efforts made by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) led by its Director General, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu.
“I must commend the efforts of all the Lagos State Emergency agencies, Lagos State Safety Commission, Federal Fire Service and other stakeholders such as United Bank of Africa (UBA) fire service, Union Bank, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Julius Berger fire service for helping in preventing the fire from extending to other building in the area.
“The Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) will carry out an integrity test of the two buildings preceding No 43 Martins Street and if they fail the integrity test, then they will be demolished.
“Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration was very passionate of the safety of Lagos citizens, and we will not allow the building to collapse before providing necessary solution.
He said that Gov. Sanwo-Olu came at the early hour on Wednesday to the scene and sympathised with the traders, who lost their goods in the fire outbreak.
Elegushi said that Sanwo-Olu had promised to assist the affected traders, who were with collateral damages, adding that the damages would be measured after putting out the fire.
“The operation is still ongoing, all the emergency response officers have been working since Tuesday with other stakeholders, and as we speak operation is still ongoing to put out the fire completely.
“After long hour of burning, the debris fell on a police officer, Sgt. Michael Dominic, and he died after getting to the hospital,” Elegushi said.
He said that the main course of the fire was not yet ascertained, adding that they were just getting different information that the fire was caused by generator explosion, while some said it was as result of electrical fault.
The Acting Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Mrs Margret Adeseye, said that the service had enough chemical and fire engine to fight the fire.
She explained that it was difficult to put out the fire due to industrial generator and diesel tank erected on top of the building.
Adeseye said that the officers were on top of the situation and that in few minutes from now the fire would be put out.