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People-friendly, cheaper approvals will end building collapse, experts tell Lagos goernment

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PHOTO: Building collapsed at 50, Kakawa Lagos Island,50 kilometers away from Ita-Faji

Professionals in the building construction industry have urged the Lagos State government to reduce building permit fees, make approval process less cumbersome and shorten the time frame.

They said it was critical for government to toe this line, as it would end incidences of building collapse in the state since the process for approval would become more people friendly.

The professionals, which comprised civil engineers, builders, architects, structural engineers and town planners, spoke yesterday at one-day public hearing on collapsed buildings in Lagos organised by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.

They agreed that most cases of collapsed building was because non-professionals handled the buildings, use substandard materials and failed to involve relevant government agencies.

The stakeholders, therefore, advocated synergy between professionals in the industry and relevant government agencies, as well as owners and developers to ensure that the right things are done before, during and after the project to end incidences of collapsed buildings.

In its presentation, the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), identified lack of comprehensive subsoil investigation before designs, non-adherence to designs and professional advice during construction, lack of effectiveness of government agencies charged with monitoring building procurement and production process, as causes of collapse.

Others are, quackery at pre-and post-contract stages, use of substandard materials, poor workmanship, professional incompetence, lack of maintenance, as well as developers and contractors’ greed.

It called for involvement of architects, civil, structural, mechanical and electrical engineers, quantity surveyors, builders and land surveyors in all building projects in the state.

General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Tiammiyu Adeshina, said government would from Tuesday, March 26 (yesterday) begin to take in displaced persons from collapsed and marked buildings at its resettlement centre in Igando.

But speaking for the Lagos Anti-Demolition Movement, Ayo Ademiluyi, Co-convener of the movement called for Coroner’s Inquest into the Ita-Faaji collapse to determine the number of deaths and injured, prosecute government officials who neglected their duty as regards timely demolition of the building and investigate the quality of building materials with a view to prosecuting the developers.

Responding, Chairman of the occasion, Wasiu Olokunola, who is also Chairman ad-hoc committee on the Ita-Faaji building collapse, told stakeholders that the committee would review their submissions and report of previous committees and make recommendations to the state government.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday stressed the need for strict adherence to quality standards in building construction, saying those who fail to adhere to standards would be sanctioned according to laid down regulations.

President Buhari gave the warning, while receiving members of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He explained that building collapse in the country required urgent adherence to quality standards.


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