Building Collapse: FCTA to conduct integrity test on old buildings

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By Philip Yatai

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) said on Thursday, that it will conduct integrity tests on old buildings within the city to forestall building collapse.

Mr Mukhtar Galadima, Director, Development Control, FCTA, stated this in Abuja while addressing newsmen on buildings in Jabi that failed integrity tests which might likely collapse.

Galadima said that the test, which would be conducted in partnership with professional bodies and regulatory bodies, and agencies would be carried out in Wuse 1, Garki 1, Garki 2, and Asokoro.

He said that the old houses that would be targeted for the exercise would be mainly those above 30 years.

The director said that the measure became necessary, following the unfortunate incident that happened in Garki village, where a two-storey building collapsed, killed two persons and injured 37 others.

“We have agreed with our colleagues, the professional and regulatory bodies and agencies to identify some structures within the city and conduct integrity tests on them.

“The goal is to avert unforeseen circumstances like building collapse that may occur due to structural defects.

“I have discussed with my colleagues and we will soon be going to the field for the exercise, particularly in Garki 1, Garki 2, Wuse 1 and Asokoro,” he said.

He explained that the areas were targeted because they were mainly developed by private individuals with houses standing for over 30 years.

Galadima said that most of the officers that supervised buildings in the areas were out of service, “and we don’t know the level of supervision then.

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“We want to be sure that the structures can stand the test of time,” he said.

The director, however, said that not every building that failed the integrity test would be demolished.

He said that sometimes the consultants would give room for remedial measures for the building to stand.

Galadima emphasised that structures that failed integrity tests and beyond remedy will be removed.

He urged people to comply with building regulations as provided by relevant acts and laws.

On the buildings located on Plot 643 Cadastral Zone Bo4, Jabi District, he said that the integrity test revealed that the building may collapse.

He said that after the failed test, the occupants of the four single-storey buildings on the plot were asked to vacate the buildings for their safety but refused to do so.

“It is disturbing that in spite professional warnings, the people are still occupying the house, even going further to obtain an order of the Court to stop us from vacating them.

“Our concern is the safety of the individual and their properties that is why we are calling on the public to desist from such acts.

“Once a structure has been tested and confirmed to be deficient, people should comply and vacate the structure because anything can happen,” he said.

On the court order, Galadima said that the department would consult the legal secretariat to decide on the next line of action.

During a visit to the affected buildings, Mr Abdulrazak Alao, Deputy Director, Building Inspectorate, North, said that the occupants were served a vacation notice on Aug. 21.

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“We also invited them for a stakeholders` meeting to carry them along in the entire process but they refused to cooperate with us.

“Only for us to get here today (Thursday) and saw a Court Order pasted on the gate of the house, restraining us from carrying further action.

“We have carried out a scientific investigation called the Smith harmer test that indicated that the building is weak and could collapse.

“The buildings have decayed, soaked and weak. I want it to be on record that the building is very unfit for human habitation and might collapse any day,” he said.

Mr Mustapha Suleiman, one of the occupants of the buildings, appealed for the meeting to be rescheduled to Friday and it was granted. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Joseph Edeh

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