Lagos is currently trending on the internet, and this time it is not for development on the Lagos Island. Barely a week ago, a three story building on the Island collapsed killing over 15 people including school pupils. This incident followed another building which collapsed in Oke-arin area, still on the island. See more stories
In recent times, Lagos has boomed with construction activities happening on the island. From high-rise structures serving the rich and middle class to shanties for the poor. These developments is as a result of the growing population currently at 21 million people. Being the centre of business activities, Nigerians and foreigners migrate into the state hoping to achieve their dreams. Thereby, leading to a housing deficit at about 3 million units (1).
Despite generating over $900 million dollars in 2017, Lagos is still yet to solve its housing deficit (2). More so, private property developers are swooping into the market with the promise of delivering housing units. They claim to possess superior technology that enables them to swiftly deliver their housing project. So, why are buildings collapsing in Lagos?
1.) There is poor government supervision of building project. After obtaining building permit, developers do not build according to the plan (3). Mostly saving cost by reducing the materials in columns and beams. In essence, reducing the overall strength of the building. Read about the incident in Port Harcourt
2.) Due to the high cost of rent in Lagos, Nigerians seek alternative ways of saving money in the economic recession. So, they opt to crowd themselves in houses. Thereby increasing loading on the structure. Over time, this leads to a collapse like the structure in Ebute Meta.
SOLVING THE CHALLENGE
So, what can the government do to avert this challenge? Government needs to increase its supervision on building project. This might come at a cost, but it will reduce the international media effect such collapse causes. More so, government would have fulfilled its obligation of safe guarding lives and properties. The discussion does not end here, please share you thoughts in the comment box.