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Lagos State and Lagosians are culpable for the pipe-line explosion disaster in Abule Ado – Tony Alabi

As FG moves to reclaim Abule Ado from house owners

An architect and expert in built environment, Dr Tony Alabi has declared that Lagos State and Lagosians are culpable for the pipe-line explosion disaster in Abule Ado having been involved in the approval processes that were not suitable for such locations.

Scene of Abule Ado fire disaster

Also the problems of house owners in that community is getting more complicated as the Federal Government begins moves to reclaim the land from the Lagos State government.

The acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Federal Housing Authority, Umar Saliu Buntu, disclosed this recently during a visit to the site of the explosion. The FHA chief also claimed that the government has since the 70’s acquired the large expanse of land from Ojo Cantonment down to Trade Fair.

In his own submission, Dr. Alabi stated that Lagos State and Lagosians are culpable for the pipe-line explosion disaster in Abule Ado. He said 15 years ago, he had highlighted over 40 built environment contraventions in Lagos during the first Built Environment Summit ever in Nigeria and Africa held in Lagos by architects at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi, Victoria Island Lagos. Today, these contraventions were never remedied by the concerted efforts of the state and the people.

According to him, “An economic good laid as part of the Lagos master plan has cost the residents of Abule Ado their lives”.

Petroleum pipe line which is the major source of revenue for Nigeria, which was laid to meet national economic objectives, has proven to be the city’s Achilles’ heels. It now conflicts with her growth and threatens the wellbeing of residents. Dr. Alabi, an architect and expert in built environment, calls again on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to decolonize the Lagos master plan immediately both in theory and practice without sentiments. “Lives are been lost due to the intricate factors that are beneath what we all see”, he said.

It is counterproductive to stop the growth of Lagos or exploit the prowess of 18million residents with state powers. Rather, the state should intervene and partner with all social classes of residents towards improving the state of affairs in the built Environment.

His grim verdict was that the lack of coordination in the aspirations of all towards an economic end within a well regulated feasible proposal for the Lagos built environment is a matter for concern.

“Rather than innovate, coordinate innovation, and create an enabling environment for residents to co-exist in healthy terms, the complicity of State officials, the necessities of people and organizations that wield big money largely account for the prevalent and negative developmental trends in the Lagos mega-city chaos and the abuse of as many revised master plans as each regime enacts. 

“It is a given tradition in Lagos that, contraventions of building regulation and its intervention methods remain large sources of revenue for the state in payment of penalties officially and unofficially.”

He blamed the chaos and grim picture of the State’s property sector on government officials and cumbersome state bureaucracy that hamper smooth running of the infrastructural development of the housing sector. 

“No doubt, the cumbersome number of stages to scale from which to secure building approvals from state agencies with the bureaucratic bottlenecks created by professionals and statutory regulatory agencies in the built environment has not improved the exploitative situation for developers and investors alike.

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