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REVEALED: Why Sanwo- Olu suspended LABSCA GM over Ikoyi 21-storey building collapse

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday caused a rumble when he suspended the General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, Mr. Gbolahan Oki, an architect. 

The suspension followed the collapsed of a 21-storey building at Gerrard Road, Ikoyi on Monday, in which over 25 persons have been confirmed dead and several others still trapped and feared dead in the debris.

The state Commissoner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, who announced Oki’s suspension in statement on Tuesday said this was the first step to unravel what went wrong.

Government sources, however, told NewsDay that the sack was necessitated by the  controversies over the actual structure approved for construction.

Before his suspension, Oki, had claimed that the government approved 15 floors for the 21-storey building.

“He got approval for a 15-storey building and he exceeded his limit. I am on the ground here and the materials he used are so inferior and terrible,” Oki had said.

But addressing journalists at the site of the collapsed building on Tuesday, Obafemi Hamzat, the deputy governor, said the owner of the building got approval for 21 floors.

He had said, “This particular one was approved for 21 floors, not 15. If you count, the second building was 14 or 15. The approval was done about three years ago, it is not something new, it is the construction that failed apparently from what we can see.”

A government source who pleaded anonymity said the Lagos State government felt bad with Oki’s statement on the approved floors.

 However, in a document seen by our reporter, it was revealed that only 15 floors were actually approved for the project.

The Development Permit, dated April 2019, was approved by the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) on 09/04/2019.

It reads partly, “For Fourscore Height Limited, 44 B,C,D Gerrard Road, Ikoyi. Permission under the provisions of the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2010 Physical Development Regulations to erect a residential 15 floors building at 44 B, C, D Gerrard Road, Ikoyi (West).”

It further said, “(a) The Planning Permit granted shall become invalid where development has (2) years of the grant of such permit unless the permit is revalidated by the Authority. 

“(b) Every developer shall, on the procurement of his permit proceed to Lagos State Building Control Agency, to give notice of his or her intention to commence Development at Oba Akinjobi Way, Old Secretariat, GRA, Ikeja.

“(c) The Subject site shall be clearly demarcated in accordance with the site plan and be made ready for Development. (d) The developer must complete Form C at all stages of construction and submit the same to Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA).

“(e) Non Compliance with the approved planning permit as designed will void the permit, and the development will be regarded as illegal.

“(f) The Developer shall engage the services of relevant registered professionals in the construction and supervision of the building, and submit the particulars of the professionals to LABSCA. (g) A developer of any building above two (2) floors shall insure his/her liability in respect of construction risks and submit a Certified True Copy (C.T.C) of such Insurance Policy Certification with his/her Development Permit to LASBCA

“(h) The owner of the building shall not occupy or permit same to be occupied before obtaining a certificate of fitness for habitation from Lagos State Building Control Agency stating that the building is fit for human habitation.

“(1) Other conditions (please see attached document).

“Failure to comply with any of the above conditions shall attract necessary sanctions on the building in line with the provisions of the extant law.”

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PHOTOS: Buhari on condolence visit to UAE

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President Muhammadu Buhari is currently in Dubai on a condolence visit over the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates.

Zayed Al Nahyan died at the age of 73 on May 13, 2022.

The country’s ministry of presidential affairs had declared a 40-day state mourning with flag flown at half-mast and the suspension of work in the public and private sectors for three days.

Buhari departed Nigeria on Thursday and arrived in Dubai in the early hours of Friday.

He was accompanied by Zubairu Dada, minister of state foreign affairs; Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy; Mohammed Bello, minister of federal capital territory, and Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation.

Below are photos.

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Protest in Abuja over council chairmen tenure extension

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Some residents of the Federal Capital Territory have taken to the streets to protest the tenure extension of six area councils’ chairmen and councillors.

The chairmen and councillors’ terms in office elapsed on Thursday and the newly-elected officials were supposed to be sworn in today.

But the FCT minister, Muhammad Bello, cited a court judgement and extended the officials’ tenure by one year.

Displeased by the extension, residents in the Gwagwalada Area Council on Friday morning took to the streets.

The residents, who barricaded the roads and made bonfires, are demanding a reversal of the decision.

The incident, it was gathered, obstructed vehicular movements in the area.

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Nigerian government moves to end ASUU, poly lecturers strikes, begins arrears payment

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ASUU

The Federal Government has commenced the payment of minimum wage arrears, which it owed lecturers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as part of efforts to end ongoing strikes by the unions, The PUNCH has learnt.

The National President of ASUP, Dr. Anderson Ezeibe, and the Chairman, ASUU FUTMinna, Dr. Gbolahan Bolarin, confirmed this in separate interviews in Abuja on Thursday.

The two unions are currently on strike following the inability of the government to meet their demands including the payment of minimum wage arrears and release of revitalisation funds, among others.

While ASUU commenced its strike on February 14, 2022, ASUP is currently on an initial two-week warning strike.

Confirming the payment on Thursday, Ezeibe, however, said that was just the beginning.

He said, “The government has started responding. They just started paying the salary/minimum wage arrears, the one they have refused to pay.

“However, that is just one of the demands, so we have not reached anywhere. They have not attended to the others, but I can confirm that people have started receiving alerts of the arrears owed.”

Also, Bolarin, said, “Some of my members got alert of their minimum wage arrears; their salaries are still pending.”

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