Editor's note[September 28, 2022. 12:00 pm (WAT)]: An earlier version of this piece showed that the certification fee is ₦150,000($347.76). The error has been corrected to reflect the actual figure, ₦100,000($231.84)
UPDATE: On Wednesday, September 28, 2022, the Lagos State Government suspended its scheduled safety audit on co-working spaces and tech hubs. In the meantime, facility owners will undergo safety training. In a statement signed by the Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Lanre Mojola, the cost implication on facility owners (₦150,000) is not a revenue generating avenue but to cover resultant expenses that arise from the inspection. Read the main story below.
- Lagos State Government has begun enforcing a yearly safety audit on co-working spaces and tech hubs as part of the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSC)'s responsibility to ensure the safety of lives and properties in the state.
- Starting in September 2022, these facilities began receiving notices to expect a visit from Aquicorn Projects Limited, a safety assessment company, to identify potential hazards and recommend measures to mitigate them. This will continue till the end of November.
- As confirmed in a statement dated September 14, 2022, seen by Techpoint Africa, this safety audit would attract an annual ₦50,000 ($115.92) documentation fee and ₦100,000($231.84) certification fee payable to the LSC's account.
What's the need for a safety audit?
The LSC was instituted in 2011 to oversee matters relating to the safety of residents' life and properties. Safety Audit is only one of the 16 departments under the Commission's confines. The LSC also ensures safety in construction sites, manufacturing companies, and corporate services facilities. This begs the question of what is done to prevent the incessant building collapse incidents experienced in the state.
All LSC's responsibilities are grounded within the LSC Law 2011, which gives the body the power to carry out any act and enforce laws that will improve residents' conditions.
A quick search for Aquicorn Projects Limited — the tech-accredited safety consultant in charge of this phase of the safety audit — shows that it was founded in 2018, and has since offered auditing, certification, and safety training services, among others.
In 2017, a similar notice was handed to private and public schools in the state. The safety audit team was, however, expected to visit the educational facilities without notice. Meanwhile, in 2021, the spotlight was on hotels and gas distribution outfits.