President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday said he would meet with Nigeria’s state governors on ways of averting building collapse in the country.
Mr. Jonathan, who spoke when he visited the scene of the Synagogue Church building collapse in Lagos, said it had become imperative for him to meet with the state chief executives on possible policies that would guide the erection of high-rise building anywhere in the country, to avert future collapse of buildings.
The yet-to-be-scheduled meeting will also take policy decisions on the alleged use of substandard materials in buildings and the strengthening regulations concerning high rise buildings, the President said.
A five-storey building inside The Synagogue Church of all Nation’s premises in Lagos collapsed on September 12 as three additional floors were being added to the original two-storey structure.
Eighty-six dead bodies were recovered from the rubble and 131 rescued, according to the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
President Jonathan, who visited the scene to condole with the church and victims of the tragedy, described the incident as “very sad story and very sad incident”, but expressed his condolences to the Church members, the Head of the Church, T. B. Joshua and those who lost their dear ones in the incident.
He particularly condoled with the South African people and their President, Jacob Zuma, whom he said he had already spoken with.
According to the President, “Today when I arrived Lagos, my first port of call was where a five-storey building collapsed and 80 people confirmed dead, about 131 people were injured.
“It is a very sad story, very sad incident to us and the international community because most of the people that died in that building collapse were not Nigerians. In fact about majority of them are South Africans,” Mr. Jonathan said. “I spoke to the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma to first express our own sentiments and condolences to the President and people of that country.”
The building, which served as Guest House for visitors to the Church, collapsed at about 12.45 pm on Friday, September 12.
Mr. Joshua blamed the incident on a strange aircraft which he alleged hovered around the building before its collapse.
The South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni, more than 84 South Africans died in the incident.