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21-storey building collapse: NIoB calls for strict laws against recurrence

By NAN
04 November 2021   |   10:30 pm
The Nigerian Institute of Building (NIoB) on Thursday, appealed to the Lagos State government to strictly implement its physical planning laws to stem the rising spate of building collapse in the state. The institute made the call at a press briefing on the collapsed 21-storey building at Gerrard Road in Ikoyi, Lagos. The Institute’s Lagos…

People stand to look at the rubble of a 21-storey building under construction that collapsed in the Ikoyi district of Lagos, on November 1, 2021. – Several people have been trapped while unspecified number of people mostly construction workers were feared dead as a 21-storey building suddenly collapsed in the Ikoyi district of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

The Nigerian Institute of Building (NIoB) on Thursday, appealed to the Lagos State government to strictly implement its physical planning laws to stem the rising spate of building collapse in the state.

The institute made the call at a press briefing on the collapsed 21-storey building at Gerrard Road in Ikoyi, Lagos.

The Institute’s Lagos Chapter Chairman, Mr Lucky Isename, while sympathising with families of the victims and the state government, said the state had excellent laws lacking adequate implementation.

Isename, while identifying causes of building collapse, said the state had beautiful laws which must be implemented without further delay to curb construction failures.

“We need the Lagos State government to strictly implement the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority laws to put a stop to collapse of building in Lagos State,” he said.

He called for engagement of qualified builders and other certified built environment professionals in all projects to guarantee quality assurance in building production processes.

“We await the outcome of the five-man panel of enquiry recently commissioned by the Lagos State government to provide detailed causes of the collapse and recommendations,” he said.

Former Ogun State Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr Akogun Onadipe, lamented the loss of lives and called for checks on other buildings near the collapse site to determine their structural strength to avert danger.

Onadipe said professionals in the built environment were usually relegated and “builders are annoyed” that provisions of the laws to always have them on every site were neglected.

He said allegations that the developer in the current collapse saga doubled as developer/contractor and used direct labour in building the edifice should be investigated and given commensurate sanctions.

Mr Sunday Wusu, immediate past Chairman, Lagos Chapter, NIOB called for inclusion of the private sector in the enforcement and implementation of the state’s building laws for efficiency.

Wusu said junior and middle level members of staff of the regulatory agencies of the state government could easily be intimidated by highly placed individuals in the society, hence the need for private engagement.

“That is the reason why we have been advocating for private inspectors; marshall them in all the local governments, let them be registered in the Local Government where they are domiciled. Not that a private inspector domiciled in Lekki should be working at Badagry.

“Wherever you are, work within that environment and if anything happens, you will be called upon, and if a management is being called upon, it is not one person, so they will be responsible for what they are doing,” he said.

He said private inspectors could also enforce quality of materials.

Mr Bayo Owojori, lawyer to the NIoB and other members of the association, called on government to adopt measures against negligence of its personnel.

He urged the state government to enforce its existing laws and regulations to curb the repeat of the incident.