LAGOS — Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday, said his administration would commence immediate demolition and redevelopment of distressed Adeniji-Adele Housing Estate in Central Lagos, to forestal building collapse and possible loss of lives.
The governor said many buildings in the estate, on land reclaimed more than two decades ago, were in very bad conditions with many of the ground floors already submerged while the walls of most of them cracked and showing signs of serious structural defect.
Fashola, after an on the spot inspection, said many buildings in the estate, particularly phases 1 to 4, fell into the aforementioned category saying, “you will see from what we saw there that some of the ground floors have been abandoned and deserted. But the truth is that those buildings are going to collapse.
“You understand Lagos terrain, most of it is water and that is why you see on the Island particularly most of the land there is white sand, swamp, land claimed from the sea. So, that kind of land requires special attention to the foundations, in most cases you have to pile, whether short or long pile, to achieve structural stability.”
He explained that there were issues that had delayed government intervention in the last three years, which included where to move the residents.
“He said, however, my administration has come to the decision that the residents must be moved out to avoid loss of life.
“The reality is that these buildings would come down. So we have come to the reality that we must just take the tough decision. People must have to leave those places otherwise we are coming back there to carry out dead bodies. I don’t want to do that.”
On the modalities to be adopted in rebuilding the place, Fashola said, “The strategy would be that we have found the chairman of all the four phases. We met the chairman of phase 3 and he has assured us that he and his people sign on to this agreement and we have told them, ‘give us evacuated blocks, we will move in, we will pull them down and rebuild them.”
Noting that Phase 3 of the Estate was the most vulnerable, the governor said the redevelopment would start from the phase, “once we have access to Phase 3, we can build enough that allows us to begin to disengage people from Phase 4 into Phase 3 and then move them back into their quarters when we finish. But we must start from Phase 3.”
On apprehension by some of residents, Fashola declared; “those that have any doubt should engage legal advice and we are ready to sign agreements and commitments that we would put them back there. That is the only assurance that I can give my word of honour and a commitment to an agreement. you show me your title that you are the owner, I will sign that I will put you back there. Of course, if for any reason we do not fulfill the agreement, which we do not intend to do, then you can enforce it against us as a matter of contract. But I don’t think we will get to that. My word of honour I will keep.”