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The collapsed 21-storey Ikoyi building: What went wrong?

The collapsed 21-storey Ikoyi building: What went wrong?
November 02
08:15 2021

BY STANLEY ALIEKE

A 21 storey building collapsed yesterday — the first day of November 2021– at about 14:00. What a sad way to start the new month.

The awful sight of a 21 storey high building site crumbling and turning into a heap of gravel; trapping about 50 persons including the owner of the building, the contractors, the site supervisors, the engineers, the bricklayers, and other persons who were unfortunate to be at the building at the time.

Some have been rescued while some have been dragged out dead and more people are still trapped in the building 18 hours later.

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This is not the first time a building is collapsing in Lagos state and unfortunately won’t be the last. What went wrong? What are the spiritual or the supernatural forces pushing down buildings, trapping people inside and killing people in Nigeria, Lagos state in particular?

Gbolahan Oki is the general manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) which has a statutory duty to regulate buildings in Lagos state and make sure that buildings erected in the state conform to laid down standards.

The general manager stated that the owner of the collapsed 21-storey building, under construction in Ikoyi, was given the approval to build only 15 floors but went ahead to erect a 21-storey mansion and that the materials used in building the mansion are of inferior materials.

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This statement by Oki while he was obviously trying to shift blames clearly begs the questions; when the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) found out that the builders of the house have flaunted the approval given to them by adding five more floors on top of the 15 floors approved did they arrest the builders and mandate them to stop work unless they stick to the 15 floors storey they got approval for or did the Nigeria factor happen and the builders bribed their ways from 15th floor to the 21st floor till it came crashing?

While we blame Nigerians for always finding ways to cut corners even at the detriment of lives, Nigerian agencies must stick to doing their jobs and enforcing what they have been mandated to do. Shun greed, bribes and corruption if not more buildings will keep collapsing and we will keep losing more innocent lives.

Alieke can be reached via [email protected]

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2 Comments

  1. Victor
    Victor November 02, 08:42

    So sorry,may d souls of d departed rest in peace,building rules must always be followed

    Reply to this comment
  2. Emusvwoke
    Emusvwoke November 06, 11:08

    Until a drastic action is taken against government regulators who gets bribed and look the other way while safety is compromised by greedy businessmen, buildings and bridges and roads will keep collapsing with attendant loss of lives. Let every staff of the monitoring agency that has anything to do with monitoring a building in Lagos state, from the chairman or director general to the lowest be prosecuted for negligence and manslaughter to start with. This will press home the clear message that Nigerians can no longer accept their shenanigan.

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