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NIOB begins building survey, urges maintenance of monuments

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NIOB President, Kunle Awobodu

Professional builders under the aegis of Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) have begun a survey of pre-independence buildings to determine their conditions and structural stability.

The body also appealed to various levels of government to imbibe the culture of building maintenance as a means to preserve monuments in the country.

NIOB President, Kunle Awobodu, who spoke during assessment of three pre-independence buildings in Lagos, urged developers to use appropriate materials at every stage of property development.

The exercise was jointly carried out by the national body in collaboration with the Lagos State chapter, the state’s Material Testing Laboratory, and Building Control Agency (LASBCA).

Some of the buildings inspected included, a mosque located in Martins street owned by the Shitta-Bey family and built in 1892, the Waterhouse owned by Dandido Da Rocha family, and built-in 1874 in Lagos Island, and the first storey building in Nigeria located in Badagry.

The forum attracted a professor of building from University of Lagos, Martin Dada, Head of Department of Building Technology, Yabatech, Adesina Aladeloba, former NIOB chairman, Lagos Chapter, Olatunde Jaiyemi and others.

Awobodu said the lesson from the survey is that, there should be a construction team led by qualified builders for every project to ensure quality and structural integrity.

He said “When materials, and methods of construction are at conflict, it won’t be possible to have a building that would be durable.”

The Chairman, Lagos Chapter, Sunday Wusu, who lamented the high percentage of building collapse in Lagos, re-emphasised the need for adoption of standards in construction by using the right professionals, and ensure proper survey of sites.

“We need to continue the condition survey of pre-independent buildings. We have a lot of buildings that lasted for 60 -70 years. If we have buildings like that and they haven’t collapsed and those that were recently built are collapsing, then there is a missing link.

“The missing link is that some of these buildings do not have reinforced columns; some of them used bricks as columns yet they are still standing. That means the right material and the right personnel carried out this project.

“With the survey, we will be able to tell developers and would-be building owners as well as the government at federal and states’ levels that the menace of building collapse can be solved, if the right materials are used.

The General Manager, Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory, Abiodun Afolabi, said the most important thing is to re-assess type of materials used by developers and estate managers.

He said: “It is important for developers to bring their construction materials for tests before construction,” stressing that environmental sustainability is key to the survival of any government.

“The Shitta Bey’s Mosque was built without reinforcement and that tells us that the aggregate materials used for that building are strong and standard wasn’t compromised.”

Afolabi said the developers should stop the use of substandard materials for their personal gains. “It is good to build houses that would make you sleep in the house without fear of collapse. We must make use of professionals as supervisors at every stage of construction in Lagos state”, he stated.

He disclosed that stakeholders would come up with a position paper from the results of the tests on the pre-independence buildings for the government to readdress the menace of building collapse.

Earlier the General Manager LASBCA, Mrs Abiola Kosegbe, who lauded the exercise, assured that LASBCA will continue to work with professionals to ensure that developers build according to standards.


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