The Lagos State Government reiterated its commitment to uniformly applying the law during the ongoing demolition of unauthorized structures in Lekki Phase II and the surrounding areas.
One of the most awful events that can happen to anyone is investing millions in properties only to be demolished by the government later. This begs the question of why the government was watching while construction was going on and had to wait till it became something worthwhile before coming to destroy it. One thing we should understand is that, there are some marked up areas and the government knows what they are doing. Unfortunately, land sellers are duly aware but they try very hard to shield you from this information because of the money they hope to gain from its sales. If you are a victim, I sympathize with you. In order not to fall victim again, I will highlight the things you should watch out for.
1. Avoid land close to drainage canal:
Land near drainage canals is susceptible to flooding during heavy rains. Poor drainage systems can exacerbate this issue, leading to water damage to properties and posing a risk to the safety of inhabitants. Drainage canals can contribute to soil erosion, particularly during heavy rain events. This erosion can undermine the stability of buildings’ foundations, which was a factor in the demolition of some structures in Lagos. In many areas, there are regulations and building codes that prohibit construction too close to drainage canals due to the associated risks. Non-compliance can result in legal issues and property demolition, as observed in Lagos. Proximity to drainage canals can lead to safety concerns. In some cases, poor maintenance of these canals can result in accidents or structural damage. Real estate located close to drainage canals may have reduced property values due to the associated risks and inconveniences.
2. When getting building approval,also get drainage approval
In Lagos State, building approval and drainage approval are two distinct but interrelated processes that property developers and builders must go through when planning and constructing a new building or structure.
Building approval refers to the legal authorization granted by the Lagos State Government or relevant local authority to undertake construction or renovation of a building. It involves a thorough review of architectural plans, structural designs, and construction details to ensure they comply with building codes, safety standards, and zoning regulations. Building approval is crucial to ensure that structures are constructed safely, with proper planning, and in accordance with the law.
Drainage approval, on the other hand, pertains to the permission granted by the relevant authorities to manage the drainage and sewage systems associated with the building. It involves assessing how the building’s drainage, sewage, and wastewater systems will interact with the overall drainage infrastructure of the area. This approval is essential to prevent issues like flooding, erosion, and environmental contamination, which can result from inadequate drainage planning.
By obtaining both approvals in tandem, developers can help mitigate the risks associated with inadequate drainage, such as flooding and erosion, and ensure that their construction projects are both safe and environmentally responsible. It emphasizes the importance of comprehensive planning and compliance with local building and environmental regulations in Lagos State.
3. Follow the recommended setback
“At Ikota, the level of encroachments is just unimaginable; people have built on the canal path and we resolved that these nuisances cannot be allowed to continue; it just had to stop,’’ Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab(culled from Premium Times).
Following the recommended setback is crucial when building in Lagos to avoid the risk of demolition and legal consequences.
A setback in building terms refers to the minimum required distance between a building or structure and a property boundary, road, or other buildings. Lagos, like many urban areas, has specific building regulations that stipulate these setbacks. Lagos has zoning and building codes that mandate setbacks for safety, aesthetics, and urban planning.
Failing to adhere to these regulations can lead to legal violations and demolition orders. Setbacks are often designed to ensure that buildings have adequate spacing between them, allowing for proper ventilation, fire safety, and emergency access.
Disregarding setbacks can compromise safety. Encroaching onto neighboring properties due to insufficient setbacks can lead to property disputes and legal actions, potentially resulting in building demolition to resolve boundary conflicts. In some cases, setbacks are established to protect public infrastructure like drainage systems. Failure to comply can disrupt these systems, causing flooding and further legal consequences.
4. Government should employ the right staff with the right attitude in all the control agencies related to building.
This emphasizes the importance of having qualified and motivated personnel in government agencies responsible for overseeing and regulating building-related activities. It underscores the need to hire individuals who have the necessary knowledge, education, and expertise in fields such as architecture, engineering, urban planning, and building inspection.
These professionals are essential for making informed decisions and assessments regarding building construction, safety, and compliance with regulations. Beyond qualifications, the right attitude is vital. Government employees working in control agencies related to building should be diligent, honest, and committed to their responsibilities.
They should prioritize the public interest, safety, and the enforcement of building codes and regulations. Employing staff with the right attitude ensures that these agencies maintain a strong focus on quality control. It helps prevent corruption, negligence, and favoritism, which can compromise the safety and integrity of buildings.
The right staff can provide efficient oversight of construction projects, ensuring that they meet safety and environmental standards. This oversight is essential to prevent substandard construction, which can lead to disasters and costly corrections. When control agencies are staffed with qualified individuals who have the right attitude, it fosters public trust.
Citizens are more likely to have confidence in the government’s ability to regulate and enforce building standards effectively.