Why Lagos sealed five bank branches, others in Ikeja

    Lekan Shodeinde, the acting General Manager of Lagos State Building Agency (LASBCA), has given reason why the agency sealed over 80 buildings, including five branches of some banks in Allen area of Ikeja on Tuesday.
    Recall that on Tuesday, official of the agency had stormed the area sealing branches of Access Bank, Sterling Bank, Zenith Bank, Unity Bank and United Bank for Africa (UBA) and some other buildings over illegal use.
    Shodeinde said the affecting buildings were registered as being used for residential purposes and were converted to commercial buildings without obtaining approval.
    The exercise, which began at 7:45am, was led by Tayo Fakoloju, the agency’s secretary and Kayode Daramola, a director in the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority.
    Shodeinde said the affected buildings had been issued notices over a month ago to regularise their documents and get commercial approval, but only a few showed up.
    According to him, a residential property must obtain the due permit before it is converted for commercial use.
    Shodeinde said LASBCA had been given the mandate to carry out an audit on buildings in Lagos state for safety purposes and ensure that people did not take laws into their hands.
    He said the government had also given six months grace period for people who did not have permit before erecting their structures to regularise them without paying the penalties for such violations.
    According to him, the government would no longer tolerate illegal conversion of residential properties to commercial without permit, as the law would descend heavily on those who trampled under the law.