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Agency tasks artisans, developers on quality materials

By Bertram Nwannekanma
21 November 2022   |   5:25 am
Poised to address incessant construction failures, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) has stressed the need for quality building materials and obtaining necessary approvals before commencement of construction works.

Gbolahan Oki

Poised to address incessant construction failures, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) has stressed the need for quality building materials and obtaining necessary approvals before commencement of construction works.

The agency made the call at the end of a two-day stakeholders’ forum at Ikeja, where LASBCA engaged members of various artisan groups and building developers on building construction and building collapse, members of various artisans groups pledged to work hand-in-hand with the agency to restore sanity to the built sector.

Addressing the participants, the General Manager, LASBCA,Gbolahan Owodunni Oki, charged the artisans and developers to ensure the use of quality materials and work with the required standard of the regulatory body of the industry to address the menace of quackery in the built sector.

Oki said, it is part of the statutory duties of the agency to educate artisans and developers on what is required of them in the construction industry and ensure total compliance with the standard of the agency.

According to him, the role played by bricklayers, carpenters and iron benders in building construction are very key and cannot be taken with levity. He added that once they fail to get the quality materials needed for construction works, building collapse becomes inevitable.

Oki urged the artisans to be aware of latest quality materials and desist from the use of inferior building materials that could jeopardise their efforts and put them at the risk of the law.

Speaking on how building materials can be tested before use, the General Manager said it is the duty of every building contractor to engage the service of the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory to ascertain the state of the building materials.

He said building materials need to be tested from the foundation level to finish stage to prevent building collapse, urging artisans to always place premium on human lives above money.

Also speaking, the General Secretary, Bricklayers Association, Lagos State Chapter, Mr. Atewolara Paul, expressed gratitude to the Lagos State Government and the management of LASBCA for the laudable initiative, saying the workshop has widened their horizone in building industry.

He said the workshop has sensitised them on the need to ensure building materials are properly tested, building permit is obtained among others to prevent incessant building collapse in the State, thereby preventing avoidable loss of lives.

He said all hands must be on deck to support the government’s dreams of ensuring safe and accessible homes for the residents.

At the interactive session, Bldr. Kunle Awobodu, the immediate past President of the Nigerian Institute of Building and Building Collapse Prevention Guild urged artisans to always assist LASBCA by reporting abnormalities/illegality observed in any of the sites they work on.

Awobodu, who commended the activities of LASBCA said no official of the Agency should be held responsible for any building collapse since they are only on site for inspection purposes and not to supervise the building construction.

“LASBCA officials should not be held responsible for collapse since they only spend a few hours on such site for monitoring and inspection only, rather, the site supervisors, if there is any should be held responsible,” he said.

A developer, Mrs Valentina Olalade, advised her colleagues to pay more attention to quality assurance by building good structures.

“Mistakes in building are not something you can easily say you want to correct or go back to change. This is why as developers, we need to pay attention in ensuring that we build the right way.

“One of the ways to end building collapse is to ensure that the agency and artisans put us on our toes to ensure that we do the right thing always.

“This simply means that nothing should be swept under the carpet. This would help to build more habitable buildings and prevent collapse,” she said.

Also, a member of Real Estate Developers Association, Mr. Kabiru Olaniyinka, suggested that the issue of building approval by LASBCA should be strictly followed to ensure that defaulters received severe punishment to serve as deterrence.

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