The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has vowed to demolish all illegal school buildings in the Ita Faji area of the state.
He gave the assurance on Wednesday while responding to concerns raised by some residents on the increase in illegal schools when he visited the scene of a building collapse.
The building caved in at about 9:45 am on Wednesday, raising fears for the lives of the hundreds of inhabitants, mostly children who are pupils of a school located on the top floor of the building.
At least 24 persons were said to have been rescued as emergency officials, as well as residents made frantic efforts while hundreds thronged the scene.
The governor lamented that while most of the buildings in the area had been marked for demolition, the landlords had remained adamant to evacuate the buildings.
“So far, from what I have been briefed, we have rescued about 25 people and some are already dead but we were earlier informed that it was a school, the building is not technically a school, it is a residential building that was actually accommodating an illegal school so to speak on the second floor.
“Like we have said, we have been carrying out a lot of integrity tests on the buildings in this neighborhood and as you can see, some of them have been marked for demolition but we get resistance from landlords but we must continue to save lives and we would intensify our efforts to see that those have failed our integrity test, we would ensure that they are quickly evacuated and we bring the structures down,” he said.
24 hours after the incident occurred, the rescue agencies say they have reached ‘ground zero’ on the site, meaning that all the rubbles had been excavated and there was no evidence that anyone was still trapped.
According to the government, all relevant stakeholders including the Ministry of Health are now intensifying efforts to save the lives of those who have been rescued.
Meanwhile, Governor Ambode commiserated with families of the deceased and promised to foot the hospital bills of those receiving treatment.
“On the part of the government, we would immediately take care of whatever it is that we can do, including the hospital bills,” he said.