The immediate past dean, faculty of engineering, University of Maiduguri, Engr. Lateef Onundi has challenged Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), to live up to its responsibilities by intensifying training of professionals for enhanced productivity.
This he believed would avert the incidences of building collapse, saying that there is a need for engineers to collaborate with Standard Organistion of Nigeria (SON) to checkmate substandard building materials.
He stated this in Abuja at the 2019 engineers conference /Annual General Meeting (AGM) organised by the Abuja chapter of Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE) with the theme, “The role of Nigerian engineers, regulatory agencies and other stakeholders in building collapse prevention”.
Onundi however indicted the private sector for contributing to 60 percent of building collapse across the states while corporate buildings and public buildings were rated 45 percent and 26 percent respectively.
He advocated the establishment of indigenous engineering code of practice that must be backed by law, saying that quality control of building materials must be in compliance with the indigenous code.
On his part, the chairman of NICE Abuja chapter, Engr Dominic Akuboh encouraged Nigerians to report suspected cases of distressed buildings to the relevant authorities or through the institution in order to carry out investigation, find sustainable solution, prevent collapses and save lives.
He disclosed that more than 1,150 lives have been lost through 275 incidences of building collapse from 1974 to 2019, with Lagos leading in the chart, followed by Abuja, Ondo, Oyo, Anambra, Ogun, Kaduna, Rivers and Imo states respectively.
The chairman hinted that structures mostly affected during the incidence were public buildings comprising of 3-storey and 2-storey, adding that 25 persons die annually in at least, five incidences of building collapse.
Akuboh posited that many government agencies, military and paramilitary organizations, non-governmental organisations as well as construction companies are involved in rescue operation, noting that the lead agency should prioritise the dissemination of accurate information to avoid conflicting issues.
He maintained that building collapse prevention is a collective responsibility of all professionals in the built industry, just as he urged stakeholders to collaborate effectively towards eradicating the menace of building collapse.