Lagos Urban Renewal: How it Averted Building Collapse

A TWO-PROLONGED approach adopted by the Lagos authorities in its urban renewal scheme may have unraveled defects in eight blocks of housing estates located in the old secretariat, and increasing contraventions of laid down physical development rule and regulations.
The feat was achieved through an interface between professional bodies and the Ministry of Housing, which confirmed that the former buildings occupying the current site, opposite the Lagos State Police Command, where Emeka Anyaoku Housing Estate is located were prone to structural failure.
The revelation was made the Governor Babatunde Fashola at the commissioning of 76 units of four-bedroom Maisonettes, last week. He said that the demolished blocks of buildings were at the verge of being occupied when it was spotted to lack structural stability, and the decision was conveyed to the Lagos State Executive Council (EXCO).
According to Fashola, “if not for the urban renewal drive by the state government that involved the engagement of professional bodies, especially, in the area of housing provision “and by extension, the painstaking efforts by our officials, led by the former Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Dele Onabokun, the collapse of the former buildings would have been incalculable in term of human casualty and material cost”, said Fashola.
He explained that when the report of the structural defects of the estate brought to the EXCO, opinions were divided on whether to demolish the entire buildings or not. “But after a thorough deliberation, it was accepted that lives must take precedence over money that would be wasted, hence, the decision to demolish the buildings”.
After the demolition, he said it was discovered that the base of the foundation was constructed on loose soil, filled with heap of refuse, and disused tyres. The foundation of the newly constructed ones had their foundations replaced with laterite, instead of loose soil, combined with pilling and iron cast.
Speaking on the project, the Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Bosun Jeje, disclosed that the new buildings were tested and can stand the test of time. “We are pooling the different housing estates to ensure that when we commence their selling to the public, there would not be a short supply. It is a massive housing project that comes with mortgage facility. Whenever we have sufficient number of houses on ground, information will get to the public so that it is those are in need of accommodation that would be the beneficiary”.
The scheme forms part of the LAGOS HOMS, which is yet to take off. It comprises 10 blocks of 76 units of four-bedroom Maisonnettes, and named after the former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, as ‘Emeka Anyaoku Housing Estate’, by Fashola. Initially, it was named “Ikeja Millennium Housing Estate’.
“To make the estate functional and self sustaining, complimentary infrastructure such as paved road networks, car parks, mini-water works, power supply and landscaping were provided”, said Jeje. The estate also comes with perimeter fence and manned gates.
Guardian Online

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