Experts seek proactive actions against building collapse
Worried by the increasing cases of collapsed buildings and the attendant casualty figures, two professional bodies have called for proactive actions against the menace.
In an interview with The Guardian, President, Association of Consulting Architects of Nigeria, Kitoyi Ibare-Akinsan, called for the setting up of a building control agency to properly monitor and investigate cases when they occur.
He said the agency should be on the concurrent list so that all states have an agency while the federal master agency will technically assist the states.
Ibare-Akinsan stressed that the building control agency is critical in eradicating the alarming cases of building collapse.
He said: “I am of the view that in the construction industry, we need to borrow from the aviation industry in the setting up of the building control agency, so that incidences of building collapse can be prevented and properly investigated when they occur.
“The setting up of the agency should be on the concurrent list so that all states have an agency while the federal has a master agency set up in a way to technically assist the states.
“Even in Lagos State, the building control agency is still to be fully effective.
“This agency is critical in eradicating the alarming cases of building collapse. One can say that the incidence of building collapse is more prevalent in small-scale projects where the owners of the project are starving the project of critical funding for qualified professionals and artisans and supervisors, and the contractor is so badly funded as to resort to use of poor building materials”, he added.
Similarly, President of the Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers (NIStructE), Oreoluwa Fadayomi, has called for a presidential summit to discuss the malaise and how to mitigate it.
According to him, unless drastic actions are taken, buildings will continue to collapse with severe consequences on the lives of ordinary Nigerians.
He, therefore, called for a legislation that would give charter to the NIStructE and forbid engineers who have not been admitted into the institution from working on structural engineering projects in Nigeria.
Stressing that curbing the incessant collapse of building structures in Nigeria is a collective responsibility, Fadayomi urged review of the current Nigerian building code before passing it into law.
According to him, some aspects of the current Nigerian building code are not safe to apply to engineering structures.