The Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory (LSMTL) on Monday began Non-Destructive Test (NDT) on government-owned school buildings.
Dr Afolabi Abiodun, LSMTL General Manager led a delegation of government officials and other stakeholders to Omole Senior Grammar School, Ojodu where the test took off.
NAN observed that engineers from the laboratory used a pundit machine and other equipment to test the structural integrity of the beams and pillars of the school.
Abiodun, in his speech, said the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda placed priority on education.
He said that the evaluation of structural stability of the school buildings to ensure safety in schools and the built environment was a reflection of the place of education.
The general manager said that the first phase of the exercise includes Non-Destructive Test (NDT) test on 25 selected primary and secondary schools across the state for two weeks.
Abiodun, while listing schools from all divisions in the state to benefit from the exercise, said it would also be extended to private schools.
”Government is starting with a target of 50 schools in Ikeja alone,” the general manager said.
He said that the initiative would be extended to all the five divisions in the state.
“The non-destructive test we are conducting is diagnostic in nature and will reveal structural defects, if any, in the school buildings.
”The report of our findings will be forwarded to Mr governor for necessary action.
“This exercise also positions the state government as a model in the post-construction audit culture and I, therefore, urge all the stakeholders in the built environment to emulate this to ensure safety, ” he said.
Abiodun urged the public to patronise the LSTML to ensure that they test their construction materials to guarantee integrity to avert building collapse.
The General Manager advised residents whose buildings were over five years to use the services of the laboratory to reduce incidence of building collapse in the state.
He thanked the principals of the Omole Senior and Junior Grammar Schools for their support to ensure the inauguration took place in their school in spite of the short notice.
Mrs Bosede Adelaja, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education, who represented the Commissioner, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, thanked the governor for the initiative.
Adelaja said that the governor had demonstrated that he was a caring father to authorise testing of schools as part of his zero tolerance for building collapse in the state.
“I know it is going to cost the state government a lot of money to get these tests done. This is another giant stride for us in education,” she said.
She thanked the general manager for reducing the levies for private schools to ensure they get their buildings tested for the overall good of children and Lagos residents.
Also, Mr Olujimi Hotonu, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry Infrastructure of Works and Infrastructure, said that the state placed high premium on quality control and assurance of roads and buildings in the state.
Hotonu said that the ministry would not hesitate to take action to ensure rehabilitation or demolition of defective buildings, depending on the state of the facilities, to ensure safety.
He said that the tests would be extended to other private and public buildings across the state to reduce incidence of building collapse.
The National President, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr Kunle Awobodu, called for urgent action against some buildings found to be defective during a previous exercise some years ago.
Awobodu, the immediate past President of the Building Collapse Prevention Guild, said that several buildings that failed structural integrity tests on the Lagos Island were still standing.
He said that NIOB was committed to prevention of building collapse in the nation and would join in monitoring the tests of schools.
The Executive Chairman, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB), Mr Wahab Alawiye-King, also commended the governor for the exercise, aimed at providing conducive environment for learning.
Also, Permanent Secretaries of all the education districts in the state present at the event took turns to share their thoughts on the exercise.