• Monday, March 04, 2024
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BusinessDay

Jonathan visits Synagogue, to meet with governors on building policy

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President Goodluck Jonathan has summoned a meeting of all 36 state governors to make policy decisions in respect of erecting high rise buildings anywhere in the country to avert future collapse of buildings.

The meeting, which is yet to be scheduled, will make policy decisions that will prevent the use of substandard materials in buildings, strengthening regulations concerning high rise buildings, among others.

The decision came on the heels of the collapse of the six-storey building belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCAN), situated in Ikotu, a suburb of Lagos, where about 84 persons were said to have died and many others sustained various degrees of injuries.

President Jonathan made the indication on Saturday when he visited the ‎scene of the collapsed building in Lagos.

‎He 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 President Jacob Zuma, whom he said, he had already spoken with to extend the nation’s condolences.

‎According to the president, “Today, when I arrived Lagos, my fiurst port of call was where a six-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.

“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.”

It would be recalled that the building which serves as residential building for visitors to the church, collapsed about 12.45p.m Friday, September 12.

T.B Joshua had alleged that the collapse of the building was caused by an attack on the church,  arguing that it was‎ beyond the allegation of structural defects.

He alleged that a plane circled four times before the building suddenly collapsed at exactly 12.44p.m.

The South African high commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni, was reported to have said that there could be more than 84 South Africans who died in the incident.

According to him, “The number has risen from 67 to 84, with more bodies discovered on Thursday. The number of South Africans who were in the church might be higher, as we believe that some people organised the trip themselves without using travel agents.”

 

 

ELIZABETH ARCHIBONG