The Mayor of Accra, Mr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, says his tenure of office has seen the institution of programmes to allow unauthorised developers to regularize their buildings documents.
Speaking at a press briefing on Friday at the site of the collapsed Melcom building at Achimota in Accra, he said through his efforts on the field and the collation of available records, the AMA had enumerated 117,175 buildings across the metropolis.
The efforts, he said, yielded a total of 987 unauthorised buildings with 30 developers stepping up and after due diligence was done development and building permits were issued to them.
Mr Vanderpuijie said the collapsed building, which was started in 1997 and completed 2008, was not under his watch, thus silencing his critics calling for his resignation.
He noted that public safety had always been his watchword and the hallmark of his responsibility in all his endeavours as Chief Executive of Accra.
According to the Mayor his efforts had also led to the increase of submission of regularization of document from 374 in 2010 to 757 and AMA's legal office had been mandated to prosecute offenders.
The AMA, he said, had through collaboration with its partners such as the Millennium City Initiative taken steps to speed up the approval process to within three months, intensifying due diligence and increasing monitoring and supervision.
"With the increased field and monitoring supervision, several developers have been assisted to improve the structural integrity and compliance to the national Building Code," Mr Vanderpuije said.
The building, which was owned by Nana Akwasi Boadu of Kinsadus Company Limited, was completed without the necessary permit.
On measures to be taken on the collapsed building, the Mayor said AMA had been granted a court order to evacuate people in the Fidelity Bank Building which is one the four buildings of Nana Akwasi Boadu to make it available for inspection.
The AMA, he said, was still committed to ensuring safe and sound living environment for the people by increasing monitoring of all on-going constructions, through increasing personnel and competence in development control.
"The AMA will further employ modern technology in the conduct of structural integrity of buildings; in this regard the public would see our officers all over the metropolis and also intensify aggressive prosecution of non-complaint developers and contractors to ensure they comply with detail specification of the approved building permit."
Mr Vanderpuije expressed his deepest sympathies to the affected families and assured them of their continued collaboration and commitment with all agencies which had helped the AMA in their effort to save life caught up in the situation.
He also commended President John Dramani Mahama for his visits and his swift call for investigation into the matter.
Also at the site was the Director General of the Ghana Health Service
(GHS), Dr. Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira and the Accra Regional Director of Health, Dr. Linda Vanotoo.
In an interview with the GNA, the GHS Director General said he was there to join hands with other collaborators working to ensure the trapped persons were rescued.
He said the National Ambulance Service was on site and that all hospitals were on alert.
Dr Denkyira said patients in hospitals were doing very well and nine people had been confirmed dead.
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