Building Failure and Collapse in Lagos State Stakeholder Mapping

Building Failure and Collapse in Lagos State Stakeholder Mapping

Group Exercise

Building Failure and Collapse in Lagos State – Stakeholder Mapping

State of play

The occurrence of building failure and collapse has become a major issue of concern in the development of Lagos State, as the magnitude of such incidents are becoming more frequent and alarming. Studies found that building failure and collapse stem principally from hasty and faulty construction, bad design, foundation failure, low quality workmanship, lack of proper/poor supervision, inexperience (use of incompetent hands), ignorance, evasion/non-compliance with building regulations and non-enforcement of building quality, standards and controls on construction site/market, use of low quality materials, ineffective enforcement of building codes by the relevant authorities, lack of proper maintenance. Studies have also shown that 70% of the reported cases of building collapse in Lagos State stemmed from the informal sector.

Regulatory framework

Three major Acts govern building construction in Lagos State:

  • Public Health Act;
  • Town and Country Planning Acts;
  • Building Regulation Act.

The Public Health Act deals with all aspects of health sanitation and environment, relating to the inhabitants of buildings. The Town and Country Planning Act deals with the general location and planning such as spatial distribution of buildings, highways/roads, schools, hospitals, sewage and drainage systems as well as other physical infrastructure. The Building Regulation Act controls the construction of buildings—process, materials, qualification of builders/contractors, etc.

Evidence has shown that existing regulation is meaningless without the mechanisms to ensure compliance because the incentives to construct and maintain buildings are too weak so laws are routinely disregarded. Five types of building regulatory enforcement inspectors have been assigned to carry out monitoring and compliance activities. They are:

  • Safety or Building Inspectors who are local government employees;
  • Specification Inspectors who are construction professionals engaged by the owner of a building under construction to ensure compliance with qualitative desires;
  • Federal Government inspectors who enforce federal regulation on federal issues such as health, energy, environmental protection, on federal government funded projects;
  • Public Works inspectors who are concerned with conformity with contracts and specification documents;
  • Specialist Inspectors who inspect and certify certain types of critical installations such as high-strength concrete, structural welding, and highly stressed masonry, etc.

The problem

Collapsing buildings not only pose a safety risk to tenants but also have enormous costs associated for citizens, businesses and Lagos State Government. The estimated cost to government alone in 2009 was 30 billion Naira. In addition to property losses the individuals and the private sector also suffer months, if not years, of lost income when their residences or places of work collapse. Contractors and building tenants alike have attested to the ineffectiveness of the monitoring activities of construction works by the relevant government agencies. This is compounded by low levels of awareness of the existing building/planning regulations by building tenants/owners and contractors—most of whom come from the informal sector. The enforcement weakness of the relevant government agencies is a major factor leading to the growing number of cases of building collapse in the private sector, dominated by the informal sector.

It must be stressed that apart from the costs to the Lagos State government for clearing the rubble, treating injured people and other public works necessary after a building collapse, the occasional loss of lives is having devastating effects on the dwellers, the economic progress of Lagos State and the credibility/reputation of the Lagos State Administration. Immediate proactive actionis needed to address the problems.

The solution

The Lagos State Ministry of Works has devised a new policy to address the recurring issue of building collapse. The Lagos State Building Safety Policy (Policy) will be implemented through the newly-formed Building Regulation, Monitoring & Enforcement Department. The Department has been established as a ‘one-stop shop’ tasked with legislation, enforcement, support and assistance, awareness raising and education and will incorporate and oversee all monitoring activities by inspectors. In addition to issuing all compliance permits and carrying out all necessary building code inspections, the Department has been tasked to achieve the following outputs:

  • Increase awareness among all three tiers of government and their agencies on the need for compliance with building regulations (e.g. among contractors, sector professionals, other stakeholders and the general public) and the dangers/costs associated with their non-compliance/evasion. This might include a hotline for people to report cases of suspected violation of building codes and maintenance regulations;
  • The Town Planning Authority will be incorporated into the new department and will employ competent professionals in all relevant areas for design approval while providing training in monitoring and enforcement. Monitoring visits to construction sites with a view to ensuring compliance with the approved building plans will be conducted on a regularly scheduled basis. Existing structures considered ‘at risk’ will also be inspected and evaluated for safety violations;
  • The Department will focus on the informal construction sector with a view to improving their standards and sensitising them on the new Policy, understanding the importance of sound construction to building safety in Lagos State, and the use of substandard materials in building construction;
  • Stiffer penalties (such as license revocation, jail and steep fines) will be enforced for owners of at-risk or collapsed buildings and criminal charges will be pursued in collaboration with the Nigerian police, in cases of gross negligence and loss of life. The Department will be responsible for withdrawing of Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) issued to owners or developers of collapsed buildings and will maintain the authority to take-over the affected properties.

Communication Objectives

In the first year:

  • Ensure that all staff of the Ministry of Works are aware of and understand their responsibilities under the new Policy;
  • Ensure that 70% of relevant staff at other MDAs are aware of and understand their responsibilities under the new Policy.

Within 18 months

  • Ensure that 70% of building owners & private sector builders— including the informal sector-- are aware of and understand their responsibilities under the new Policy.


  • Ministry of Works has only 100 inspectors for an estimated 5.5 million buildings;
  • Ministry of Works has only one Public Relations Officer;
  • No funds specifically allocated for communication, awareness-raising;
  • Media “culture” requires payment for coverage of events, news/issues, participation in call-in programmes;
  • Lagos State Government cost-cutting programme means funding for communication is limited;
  • Low literacy
  • 30% of Lagosians are illiterate.
  • Illiteracy in the informal construction sector is 50%.
  • Media access
  • Only 20% of Lagosians have access to internet.
  • Only 40% have access to/read newspapers.
  • 65% have access to/watch TV.
  • 90% have access to/listen to radio.

Group Tasks

  • Choose the 5 most important stakeholders for achieving one (1) of the three (3) Objectives;
  • Indicate the 2 best communication channels to reach each of the 5 stakeholder groups-- and why it is the best way to reach them;
  • Create 1 message for each stakeholder group.

Use the template below to help you identify and map your stakeholders.

Little/No Influence / Some Influence / Unknown / Moderate
Influence / Significant
Support is
Support is
Opposes Moderately
Opposes Significantly

Stakeholder categories

  • Interested in Policy and must be involved for Policy to succeed;
  • Not interested in Policy, but must be involved;
  • Want to be involved, but not a “must”; Policy can succeed without them;
  • Not interested in Policyand not necessary for Policy’s success.

Possible Stakeholders


  • Governor’s Office;
  • Lagos State Ministry of Works;
  • Lagos State Government ministries, agencies;
  • Building Regulation, Monitoring and Enforcement Department;
  • Police and Other Law Enforcement Agencies;
  • Neighbouring State governments;
  • Federal Ministry of Works and related federal-level MDAs;
  • Local Governments in Lagos State.


  • State Assembly members;
  • National Assembly, Senate members;
  • Committees on trade, safety, works, housing, justice, other.

Current Industry players

  • Construction sector
  • Formal - Construction Companies, Building Contractors, other.
  • Informal – Day laborers, etc.
  • Building material suppliers;
  • Insurance companies;
  • Property Owners and Developers;
  • Commercial.
  • Residential.
  • Financial institutions, e.g. mortgage banks;
  • Retailers;
  • Others?

Organized Private Sector

  • Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN);
  • Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
  • Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria;
  • Property Owners Association;
  • Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria;
  • Nigerian Institution of Surveyors;
  • Mortgage Bankers Association of Nigeria;
  • Nigeria Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers;
  • Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors;
  • Nigerian Institute of Town Planners;
  • Nigerian Society of Engineers;
  • The Nigerian Institute of Safety Professionals;
  • Nigerian Institute of Architects;
  • Nigeria Insurers Association;
  • Nigerian Institute of Building;
  • Nigeria Institute of Civil Engineers;
  • Society of Construction Industry Arbitrators of Nigeria;
  • Hoteliers Association;
  • Others?

Other groups

  • Political parties (specify— ruling party, opposition or both);
  • Faith-based organisations; religious leaders;
  • Trade unions;
  • Universities and think tanks;
  • Traditional authorities; village leaders, religious leaders;
  • International Donors.

Citizens, general public

  • Residents of Lagos city;
  • Residents of Lagos State;
  • Residents of neighbouring states.

Media – specify newspaper, radio, TV, social media

  • National;
  • State and local government level;
  • Private media TV and radio stations;
  • International media organisations;
  • FRCN.