The Lagos State Government has announced the sealing off of 42 additional buildings in Lekki for failure to get building permits and comply with the physical planning laws of the state. This is to reduce the incidences of building collapse.
This was disclosed by the spokesman of the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Mukaila Sanusi, who was quoting the Commissioner, Dr. Idris Salako, on Friday June 26, 2020.
Salako said that the enforcement became necessary so as to stem the tide of building collapse and also protect the environment for adherence to proper planning.
According to Salako, “This explains why we must stop those who are bent on jeopardising the Operative Development Plans of Lagos State by not tolerating any form of illegal physical development.”
Salako explained that the special operation started in Lekki Phase 1 on Tuesday, with the sealing off of 19 buildings, making a total of 42 buildings that were closed as of Thursday, June 25, 2020.
He also urged those whose properties were affected due to the infractions to report to his office in Ikeja, while also advising property owners in Lekki Phase 1 and other parts of the state to ensure compliance with physical planning laws of the state.
Nairametrics had reported about 2 weeks ago, that the Lagos state government, sealed off 34 properties in highbrow Banana Island in a 2-day exercise for violating planning laws of the state in terms of structure and location of the properties, in addition to failure to obtain the required building permits.
The Lagos state government is applying stricter controls and regulations for property developers due to increasing cases of collapsed buildings which have claimed many lives in the state.
Dr. Salako, pointed out that the state government was ready to take on individuals and property developers who violated those planning laws to the detriment of the wellness and wellbeing of the society through disorderly, unorganized, unapproved and illegal developments.
Cost of building materials rise by over 60% in one year
The price of building materials in the market experienced a rise of over 60% in the last one year.
The cost of Cement, Steel, Tiles and Plaster of Paris (PoP) cement, among others have risen by over 60% between March 2020 and March 2021.
For instance, the cost of steel, which was sold at N234,000 per tonne as of March 2020, had increased to N380,000 at the end of March 2021. This represents a 62% increase within the period under review.
While Dangote Cement increased from N2,600 to N3,800 (though it is sold at N3,600 in some areas in Lagos), Lafarge Cement and BUA Cement increased from N2,400 and N2,250 to N3,600 and N3,250 respectively within the same period.
The price hikes are not limited to the cost of steel and cement alone but also to other materials like Tiles, PoP cement, and roofing sheets.
The cost of super white cement increased from N2,500 (25kg) to N3,700, and the cost of high-quality white cement (40kg) also increased from N4,000 to N6,500.
The cost of gravel increased from N80,000 to N140,000; that of 8mm diameter and 25mm diameter (imported) increased from N234,000 and N245,000 to N330,000 and N380,000 respectively.
Doors are not left out in the hike. Costs of Flush door (high quality), Panel door and Turkish steel door (1,500 x 2,100) also rose from N35,000, N40,000, N165,000 to N60,000, N75,000 and N235,000 respectively.
Why the hike?
Industry experts have attributed the hike to persistent depreciation of the naira and the rising cost of other building materials.
Tunde Oluwole, a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Builders, explained that the development was caused by high interest rate, inflation, increasing exchange rate and scarcity of forex in the country.
He said, “The increasing prices in Nigeria is a result of the combined effects of high-interest rates, devaluation of the naira, inflation, and non-effective distribution network of the materials.”
To Kolawole Adebisi, an Estate Developer, the development in the cement industry is caused by the ban of imported cement in the country.
He told Nairametrics that he is not against the ban, as the government’s intention is to boost local production of cement but explained that “the local manufacturers were unable to produce enough cement to meet the demand and this contributed to the rising cost of the product.”
Osborne, Ikoyi residents move against Lekki Gardens over planning laws violation
The residents accused owners of Lekki Gardens Estate of alleged flagrant and unchecked violation of officially approved building plans.
Residents of Osborne Foreshore 2 estate, Ikoyi, have moved against a property development firm, Lekki Gardens/Foreshore Waters Limited for allegedly violating the state’s planning laws; in addition to the violation of the estate’s building plan and the existing plan to stop work forthwith.
This is as the residents of the estate have appealed to the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to order that works on all approvals for development in the estate be suspended for 3 months because of the ongoing review of the approval order.
According to a report from Thisday, the appeal is contained in a statement issued by the residents of Osborne Foreshore 2 estate, where they warned that refusal to stop further work might lead to a breakdown of law and order.
What the residents of Osborne Foreshore 2 estate are saying
The residents of the estate in their statement said, “We once again invite your Excellency to visit our estate to see for yourself how the activities of Richard Nyong will one day lead to a breakdown of law and order if this brazen disregard of planning laws of Lagos States is allowed to continue.”
They accused the developer of violating state’s planning laws in its quest to construct multi-storey structures in the expansive residential estate.
They also accused Richard Nyong, Lekki Gardens Estate and Foreshore Waters Limited of alleged flagrant and unchecked violation of officially approved building plans.
The estate management pointed out that other developers have since complied with these guidelines whereas Lekki Gardens had allegedly refused to do the same.
What the Chairperson of Osborne Foreshore Residents Association is saying
The Chairperson of Osborne Foreshore Residents Association, Mrs Chinwe Ezenwa-Mbah, had recently expressed reservations over the impact of the heavy construction by Lekki Gardens and other developers and how it is affecting the houses of other residents in the estate.
She said, “When we got our plots, we were told that the place was designed as a low population residential area. We did not know that a time would come when this area would become a commercial area.
“When you come into an existing estate and you are doing piling that is breaking your neighbour’s foundations as well as against the approved plan given to you in the name of commercial development, that is not right.”
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the relationship between Lekki Gardens and the management of Osborne Foreshore 2 Estate broke down after the latter insisted that the property developer must obey building permit laws given to it by both the Lagos State government and the resident association.
- Several other landlords and Residents of Osborne Foreshore 11, have also complained about the activities of Lekki Gardens and other developers in the area whom they accused of violating the building permit given to them by the government.
- The Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako had held a meeting with all the stakeholders in a bid to amicably resolve the existing dispute.
- The residents made an appeal to the Lagos State government for reversal of the wrongful classification of Osborne Foreshore Phase II from its original master plan as a low-density to a high-density residential estate.
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