The Nigerian Society of Engineers Lagos Branch has advised the Federal Government to collaborate with the Lagos State Government to sell off the secretariat complex to save the national monument from further deterioration.
Engr Johnson Akinwande, the Branch Chairman, told the News Agency of Nigeria that both governments should reach an agreement about the facility without further delay.
Akinwande explained that earlier moves by the Federal Government to sell the asset to private individuals failed because the buyer wanted to use it for purposes that contravened the Lagos Master Plan for the area.
He also called for integrity tests and proper Environmental Impact Assessment of the facility. The 15-storey Federal Secretariat Complex in Ikoyi, Lagos was abandoned since 1991 following the relocation of the country’s capital from Lagos to Abuja.
Built in 1976, the facility which served as the engine room of the federal civil service is virtually in a ruinous state, stripped of doors, windows and other fittings, a NAN check has revealed.
A section of the building formerly occupied by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control which was gutted by fire is yet to be renovated.
The Federal Government had planned to convert the facility into residential accommodation consisting of four, three and two bedroom flats, but the move was halted by the Lagos State Government.
LASG, had in 2006 passed the Ikoyi/Victoria Model City Plan Bill, insisting that the secretariat remains an institutional building that cannot be converted to other uses.
Contacted for his comment, Mr Dickson Onoja, the Director of Public Buildings in the Federal Ministry of Housing, Abuja, told NAN on the telephone that the property was no longer under the control of the ministry.
Onoja said the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Sale of Federal Government Landed Property in Abuja was in a better position to speak on the status of the secretariat.
“The Federal Secretariat buildings in Ikoyi are no longer ours and no longer under our control as it is one of the buildings sold off some years back.
“I am told issues came up in relation to development control, building plan approvals and permits which are under the jurisdiction of state government,’’ he said.
Efforts to contact the Presidential Implementation Committee were unsuccessful.