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Builders plan local materials’ research centre

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Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf  Aregbesola(left); President, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Kunle Awobodu and General Manager (Procurement), Federal Housing Authority, Mr. Timothy Anetoh during the institute’s 50th annual general meeting and virtual conference in Abuja

The Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), has revealed plans to build a world-class research centre to resolve issues in materials, and skills development in the industry.

NIOB President, Kunle Awobodu, stated this during the institute’s 50th annual general meeting and virtual conference. Awobodu said the project, which is at the preparatory-stage, would be sited in Abuja.

Awobodu urged spirited individuals and organisations to support the realisation of the project in record time.

He said the institute would partner with other stakeholders that are ready to make bold changes in developing material inputs in the construction system, adopt research findings that could facilitate a virile ecosystem.

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Awobodu further said that the institute has a crop of builders who are researchers, whose works and outputs can make a difference in projects.

Some of the research works, he stated focused on using rice husks, corn cob ash as partial replacement for cement, the use of nut oil in cement mortar, turning of used tyres into bituminous products for construction of flexible pavements or roads, the use of plastics in the production of building materials, especially eco-crete blocks.

The chairman of the occasion, Ogbeni Rauf  Aregbesola, underscored the importance of building development as a reflection of the level of development of society. Aregbesola who is the Minister of Interior stressed the need for professionalism among stakeholders in the building delivery process to address its challenges.

Also speaking, the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Muhammad Bello represented by the Executive Secretary, FCDA, Umar Gambo Jibrin expressed delight that the institute is keying into the cardinal objectives of the Buhari administration in seeking solutions to developmental issues.

IN a related development, NIOB, Lagos State Chapter has said the new physical development law, and regulation need to be properly implemented, and enforced to ensure sustainable building in the society.

Lagos accounts for the highest record of building collapses in recent times. NIOB insisted that the law must be used to attain orderliness in the built industry through government collaboration with sector’s professionals.

The state’s chairman, Sunday Wusu, stated this ahead of the Chapters’ forthcoming 28th Builders’ Conference and Annual General Meeting themed; ‘Safe and Sustainable Buildings in Lagos State: Implementation Strategy for Lagos Physical Development Law and Regulations’ to hold in November.

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The building collapse, Wusu noted is causing concern to government, built environment practitioners, and other stakeholders, hence, the need for government to muster political will and use laws to protect the building industry.

He said that property developers and homeowners must embrace the proposed compulsory building insurance policy for buildings above two floors, to mitigate impact of building collapse.

Wusu explained, “For now we might be having building collapses maybe because the construction monitoring process was not well organised. When insurance is fully introduced in the sector, companies will ensure that the construction monitoring processes are adhered to because their names are in the construction site. Insurance is not only for the workers, it’s also for the building itself to protect it against any damage.”

Also speaking, the chairman, local organising committee of the conference, Owolabi Rasheed Ayoola said the objectives of the conference is to create awareness for the enforcement process of State’s Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and physical planning agency regulation.

It will also ensure that stakeholders have first-hand knowledge on safety need and process in building development. The programme falls in line with the novel COVID-19 pandemic and keep stakeholders abreast of the effective as well as efficient ways of building production process to get good value for their investment in projects.

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