A building expert has observed that non-passage of the national Building Code into law, refusal and inadequate use of materials have been identified as some of the factors responsible for increasing building collapse in Nigeria.
Mr Garba Olorunoje, the immediate past Deputy Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, made the observations while delivering the 24th edition of Professor E.K Obiakor lecture series of the polytechnic.
Olorunoje, a Chief Lecturer at the Department of Building Technology at the polytechnic, explained that the major causes of building collapse in the country were due to human errors, due mainly to use of non professionals, which could be avoided.
“Negligence of statutory duties by the various parties involved in the industry is a key factor, hence they must ensure that sanity is brought into play by exercising control over the many processes of building design, construction and maintenance.”
To reduce the problem of building collapse, the Lecturer advocated quick passage of the National Building Code 2006 into law to serve as a check on culprits.
Other suggestions, according to him, include employment of professionals to handle building projects, applying stringent penalties against those responsible for collapse of buildings, sending monitoring teams to inspect building projects.
“Town planning and similar statutory authorities should be adequately staffed and equipped with professionals in the construction industry for effective monitoring of projects during and after construction.
“The current practice where approvals are granted based on personal relationship is dangerous as it does not only criminally distort the master plan of our cities, but encourages building construction in flood plains and in places that have not enjoyed enough setback from high tension cables.”
Olorunoje also pointed out that government should strengthen institutions such as the Nigerian Building and Roads Research Institute, Centre for Earth Construction Technology and other relevant bodies for efficient housing delivery and reduction in building collapse in the Nation.
“Government should provide enabling laws to enforce the training and effective control of Artisans and Craftsmen in the building industry by the relevant professional bodies.
“It show the way by ensuring that those awarded housing projects are not just their political associates whose training may not have been in the field of construction.”
The building Expert further suggested that regular audit of defective structures must be carried out and structures marked for demolition should be demolished before they cause havoc to lives and properties.
“Members of the public must assist government and its agencies by refusing to harbour the identity of quacks operating illegally in the industry.
“They must expose incompetent or dubious contractors carrying out their activities which could eventually lead to collapse.”
In his remarks, the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic Ado Ekiti, Dr. Dayo Oladebeye said the topic of the lecture was apt and timely in view of the alarming cases of building collapse in the country.
Dr. Oladebeye noted that many lives have been lost in Nigeria as a result of poor construction of buildings.