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LASG, NIOB, construction experts advocate insurance for safe sustainable buildings, livable cities



The Lagos State Government, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) and other experts have advocated right insurance at all stages of building construction to achieve safe sustainable houses and livable city.

The stakeholders made the call at the 29th Lagos Builders’ Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) organised by the Lagos Branch of the NIOB in Ikeja on Thursday.

The theme for the event was “Safe and Sustainable Building in Lagos State. Implementation Strategy for Lagos Physical Development Law and Regulation”.

Dr Idris Salako the Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development who was the Chairman of the conference said the government was committed to achieving safe buildings and livable environment.

Leading the panel discussion, Salako said the state government had adopted various regulatory measures, and had enacted laws enforcing insurance to guard against incessant building collapses and loss of lives and property.

He said that the agencies under his ministry were mentoring residents on voluntary compliance to planning permits principles, adding that, the governor had devolved more powers to the agencies to grant approvals.

Salako said Permanent Secretaries, General Managers and some district officers could now sign some approvals adding that, district offices were increased to 30 and number of supervising directors increased from five to 10.

“The Lagos State Government is committed to sustainable and livable environment for everybody and we have laws and our agencies see to implementation.

“The Lagos Physical Development Law and Regulation is saying even when you are constructing you must have a risk insurance. Every construction above a certain level must have insurance,’’ he said.

He said that the government was negotiating with the National Insurance Commission to make insurance all-encompassing for everyone.

He lamented resistance of residents who refused to pay low planning permit levies that had not been increased in the last 18 years, but would prefer to pay more through bribes while cutting corners.

The commissioner, however, added that his ministry and its agencies were not relenting in evolving more policies to bridge the trust gap between government and the people.

He said that the state also instituted an appeals committee with membership drawn from various fields and interest groups to deal with all issues of infractions which construction stakeholders were not satisfied with.

Salako also addressed concerns by the President of NIOB, Mr Kunle Awobodu who had raised alarm over 1,000 distressed buildings in some parts of Lagos Island due to poor quality construction.

Awobodu had also warned on the need for government to be vigilant to scrutinise building production processes to ensure every stage of construction had insurance cover.

Salako said that government had carried out several demolitions and was in the process of carrying out another advertisement for demolition of eight distressed Lagos Island Buildings.

He said that government had made planning permits seamless through technology and had made processes of obtaining titles easier to ensure properties were viable for use as financial instruments in banks.

“Everybody wants to build a house forgetting that we have an environment to protect, what you give to the environment is what you get back,’’ he said.

General Managers of Supervising agencies under the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development on the panel took turns to explain policies towards achieving seamless construction in the state.

They also took turns to explain various concern raised by experts from the academia and other professionals.

The General Managers were, Dr Abiodun Tajudeen of the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory; Mrs Abiola Kosegbe, Lagos State Building Control Agency and Mr Olufunmilayo Osifuye, Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority.

Also, the lawyers and insurance experts on the panel took turns to explain legal and insurance procedures, and the need for government to look beyond liabilities which focused on individual.

They called for wholistic approach that captured every building stage to enhance construction quality, investments and risk sharing thereby encouraging developers and individuals to take insurance policies to nip collapses in the bud.

Earlier, Chairman, Lagos Branch of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr Sunday Wusu had emphasised the need for training and conferences to reverse the ugly trend of incessant building collapses in Nigeria and Lagos.

He said the conference theme “safe and sustainable Buildings in Lagos state: Implementation Strategy for Lagos State Physical Development Law and Regulation’’ was apt to tackle the challenges.

He said the Lagos branch of NIOB will partner the state government in “strategising to effectively implement the Physical Development Law and Regulation (PDLR) of the state“.

“You’ll agree with me that most building collapse cases have their roots in one form of violation or the other, of Building laws and regulations,’’ he said.

ROYAL NEWS reports that the commissioner and the three general managers under his ministry were given awards in recognition of their efforts towards regulations of the built environment.

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