▪︎No life lost
▪︎Building has no approval
Following the collapse of a three-storey building under construction at Ezeluike Street, Olympic Layout, Awkunanaw, Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State, on Sunday, the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) has announced its decision to “immediately commence evaluation of the structural integrity and stability of all buildings within the State Capital Territory, from April 10, 2020”.
In a statement by the Executive Chairman of ECTDA, Dr. Umunnakwe Onoh, the exercise will be conducted jointly by a technical team from the Agency and the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Enugu State branch.
Dr. Onoh, who disclosed that “ECTDA shall comply with the recommendations at the end of the exercise”, pointed out that “where any structure(s) fails the integrity test the developer/owner shall be given a reasonable time not exceeding sixty days to commence reconstruction and ensure that the structure is fit and stable for human habitation”.
The ECTDA Executive Chairman added that “in a case where no option is available such building(s) shall be demolished rather than put the lives of the occupants in danger”.
While disclosing that rescue teams from ECTDA, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), State Fire Service and Red Cross, among others, were on ground at the site of the incident for emergency operations, Dr. Onoh noted that no casualties were recorded.
He stated categorically that the collapsed three-storey building had no building approval from ECTDA and was consequently marked for demolition in July and November 2019, but: “Unfortunately, the developer continued construction in defiance of the Stop-Work order issued by our Agency”.
However the claim by the agency that the house was marked for demolition in 2019 has put the effectiveness of the agency to question.
Mr Emeka Nnaji an Enugu resident who spoke to signaturetv.org at the site of the collapsed building on Monday morning wondered why the Agency did not carry out the demolition since the owner did not get approval.
“The only job ECTDA knows how to do is to demolish people’s homes and shops especially when they are not settled” Mr Nnaji said
“Do you know how many families they rendered useless by destroying the only source of livelihood. I hope they will use the same force they use in destroying shops in enforcing compliance by building contractors”, he added.
Residents of Olympic Layout and environs were Sunday startled by the loud noise which accompanied the collapse of the three storey building in the Layout.