by Isqil Najim
Dr Victor Akpan joined other Professionals in the built environment on Wednesday proffered measures to stop the collapse of buildings in Lagos State.
The one-day seminar titled: “How To Stop Building Collapse In Lagos”, organised by City People in partnership with the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), Lagos State chapter.
Dr Victor Akpan of BCPG, Kosofe cell, in his contribution, said the ever changing environment, scientific and technological development on buildings requires serious attention. He called called for enforcement of certification for players in the building process and establishment of periodical regulations.
According to him, “Provision of shelter for man and his activities is perhaps one of the oldest professions today. With increasing sophistication of mode of life and activities of man, ever changing environment, scientific and technological development, the buildings being designed and built require more serious attention in order to enable them meet demands placed on them.”
He added that “Failure to do this may lead to them not being fit for purpose, including total failure or collapse. The consequences of this can be tragic, occasioning loss of lives and properties.”
While lamenting the frequent occurrence of Building Collapse and attendant loss on both material and human, he made suggestions on the way to address the challenges.
He called for “Establishment of Codes and Standards, and periodically updating same in the light of changing world and environment; Establishment and periodic review of regulations; Unity among professional bodies toward ensuring enforcement, complaisance with standards; Review of the Processes leading to Building Permit and Approvals; monitoring to ensure compliance, and punishment for defaulters.
Further, he added that there should be sensitization and awareness among the players in the Built Environment on the consequences of their activities.
In his address, Mr Yusuf Sulaimon, BSPG National President, described building collapses in the state and across the country as an embarrassment to the building professionals and a worrisome development.
Sulaimon, also a Town Planner, said the professionals in the built environment were qualified, experienced and has the capacity to deliver standard structures, however not fully engaged to do so. He suggested that Nigerians must start engaging professionals at every stage of construction for the country to stem the collapse of buildings.
“We will continue to advise our people to always take the right step when embarking on their building project to prevent collapse. Nigerians must consult the surveyors when buying a land, to advice them on which to buy and the structure that will fit in. They must engage the architects, structural engineers, builders and other professionals that will help them fulfil their aspirations and sustain it in post- construction,” he said.
Similarly, Dr Mr Bola Arilesere, Publicity Secretary, BSPG, Lagos chapter, said the collapse of a building usually stems from a failure in its design, caused by an error in either the architectural, civil or structural design. Arilesere, an architect, called for the use of built professionals, proper monitoring of sites by various supervisory government agencies and the use of quality and efficient building materials to prevent collapse.
Also, Buldr Mubarak Gbaja-Biamila, General Secretary, BCPG, Lagos chapter, said when professionals builders were engaged, they would bring onboard qualified artisans and tradesmen that would follow due process and guidelines. He charged Nigerians to ensure that their buildings were constructed under necessary indices and procedures and seek supervision and approvals from government regulatory agencies.
On her part, a Quantity Surveyor, Mrs Faith Ezeugoh, advised Nigerians to always engage the service of quantity surveyors in determining the cost of land, design, construction, documentation and maintenance of building. Ezeugoh, also Treasurer, BCPG, Lagos chapter, stated that clients would end up spending less to get a standard and quality building, following the service of quantity surveyors.
Mr Joseph Akande, Chairman, BCPG Lagos chapter, said the war against building collapse could only be won when there was a collaboration between all the stakeholders in the built environment. Akande, a Town planner charged the Lagos State Government to empower BCPG, by backing up its activities with enabling laws. According to him, this will help the guild to monitor and report anomalies observed in ongoing construction site to prevent building collapse across the state.
BSPG comprises all the professionals in the built environment such as builders, architects, Quantity surveyors, Town planners, engineers, among others.