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Builders seek construction safety, urge action against quackery

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President, NIOB Kenneth Nnabuife Nduka

Piqued by the disturbing incidence of building collapse and its attendant effects on lives and property, Lagos State Chapter Nigeria Institute of Builders (NIOB) has moved to ensure the safety of construction and improved managerial skill of builders.

The Guardian learned, that Institute in collaboration with the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, (IOSH), United Kingdom took members of the institute on a four- day Intensive safety training to update their knowledge on occupational safety and health.

Construction failure has remained an albatross in the built environment with one out of the over 20 incidents of building collapse recorded in different parts of the country between January 2013 to September 2014.

A survey of building collapse in 2015 also showed that an average of 27 buildings caved in 14 months. Out of these, 175 deaths occurred while 427 others were injured.

A further breakdown of the survey showed that 17 of the incidents of collapsed buildings involved residential areas where an estimated death toll of 44 was recorded with over 60 victims injured while 6 occurred on church buildings with an estimated death toll of 134 and about 176 survivors injured.

But the Chairman of the Lagos chapter of NIOB, Mr. Adelaja Adekanmbi, said the training is aimed at reducing such ugly incidences by targeting builders, who are responsible for health and safety on site.

He worried about the high rate of construction failure in the state and called for the use of professionals especially builders, who are recognized by law in building construction.

Describing the collaboration as the first of its kind, Adekanmbi urged Nigerians to always go for the professionals for their construction work since building code has clearly delineated the roles of each professional in the built environment.

Also, Chairman, College of Fellows, Nigeria Institute of Building, Mrs. Omobolanle Araba, warned against the public against patronizing quacks in the industry, alleging that professionals who want to do other professionals’ jobs perpetrate most of the quackery.

While noting the existing collaboration among professionals in the sector, she, however, warned that it should not dovetail into taking jobs outside their scope as it sparks of danger and questions the safety and health of construction work.

Also speaking, a registered builder, Prof Martin Dada, said it amounts to quackery for any other professional to venture into other professionals’ job because the building code clearly specifies that builders are custodians and managers of construction in the built environment.

He noted that the code is adherence to basic minimum requirement, stressing that construction cost accounts for over 70 per cent of any collapse structure.

Prof. Dada stressed that the training seeks up-skill the builders already acquired knowledge and updates them with the latest technology on safety and health on site since the collapse of buildings is something that agitates the mind of everybody.

For the Representative of Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, (IOSH) UK for West Africa, Mrs. Funmi Adegbola, the training aimed at equipping builders’ knowledge on occupational safety and enhance their ability to compete in the global sphere, since the issue of safety is beyond borders.


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