A human rights and anti-corruption group, Coalition Against Corruption and Bad Governance (CACOBAG), has urged Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to investigate officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) following the recent demolition of buildings and other structures in the state.
The group stated that the huge losses suffered by property owners and developers could have been avoided if LASBCA officials had done their job properly and not given “illegal” approval to buildings.
In an open letter to the governor, CACOBAG said, “While the government is embarking on removing the illegal structures, it must also not shy away from punishing officials of the building control authorities who compromise by giving ‘illegal’ approval to buildings.”
The group’s chairman, Comrade Toyin Raheem, noted that no building would have been developed illegally if the appropriate authorities, especially LASBCA, had been vigilant.
“In the checks and balances mechanism, the role of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) is supposed to discover and correct errors committed by the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPA),” the letter reads.
“If monitoring officers of LASBCA had lived up to expectations, these huge losses being inflicted on building owners and developers through demolition would have been nipped in the bud.”
The group called on the governor not to “treat LASBCA staff as sacred cows,” stating that “pampering them for long has been counterproductive.”
They also noted that Sanwo-Olu’s first tenure, from 2019 to 2023, recorded the highest number of building collapses in the history of Lagos State.
However, CACOBAG acknowledged that there are hardworking and sincere LASBCA officials who should be preserved and retained in the agency. They emphasized that these individuals are the “agents of positive growth.”
The group’s call for an investigation of LASBCA officials comes as the Lagos State government continues to demolish buildings and other structures that are deemed to be illegal. The government has stated that these demolitions are necessary to ensure public safety and prevent future building collapses.
However, some property owners and developers have argued that the demolitions are unfair and that they have not been given a fair opportunity to rectify any violations of building regulations.
The CACOBAG’s call for an investigation is likely to add to the pressure on the Lagos State government to ensure that the demolitions are carried out in a fair and transparent manner.
Source: Daily Trust