By Yunus Yusuf/Grace Alegba
The Nigerian Institute of Building (NIoB) has appealed to National Assembly to expedite passage of the National Building Code Bill to check frequent building collapse in the country.
The Institute also asked Lagos State Government to engage teams of independent professionals as building inspectors who would monitor numerous construction sites in various localities across the state.
Mr Lucky Isename, Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of NIoB, made this known during the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) forum in Lagos on Sunday.
Isename, who was reacting to the collapse of the 21-storey building at Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, said that the delay by National Assembly in passing the Building Code Bill was responsible for incessant building collapse.
He said that speedy passage of the Building Code Bill would ensure that professional builders worked on sites, adding that no professional would want to lose his or her certification.
He commended the Lagos State Government for domesticating provisions of the Code in its building control laws but advised the government to collaborate with professionals in the built environment to effectively implement the laws.
According to the NIoB, the state government lacked adequate manpower to tackle infractions of building control regulations.
He said that the state government building monitoring agencies, in particular, had become short staffed, adding that this was also affecting effective supervision of numerous construction sites all over the state.
He then advised the state government to engage teams of independent professionals as inspectors who would monitor numerous construction sites in various localities across the state.
Isename also called for strong synergy between the Ministries of Works, Environment and relevant professional bodies in supervising construction sites and ensuring that the right professionals are used.
He also advised professionals in the built environment to operate within their boundaries in view of the interwoven roles of various experts to ensure quality construction.
According to the NIoB official, different professionals are supposed to perform different responsibilities during construction, but there are instances where an architect, for example, wants to do the job of an engineer and a builder, put together.
“From the rubbles of the collapsed building, it is clear that the materials are substandard and there was poor supervision, bringing me to the question, were professionals employed?
“We pray that this kind of event enhances the quick hearing and passage of the Building Code that has been with the National Assembly for more than 10 years.
“The country’s regulatory bodies have not been doing their jobs and this is giving room for quacks to pose as professionals.
“I also notice that apart from the refusal of people to pay professionals, our building materials are also suspect. You can hardly get two-by-two planks with correct measurement on our sites.
“The sizes and quality of our rods are suspect, a lot is being compromised in terms of size and quality.
“The challenge is so huge that it needs to be checked from the roots, including the production of our woods, rods, cement etc,” he noted.
The chairman said for effective supervision of building production processes, every site must have a professional builder on ground to monitor activities.
The chairman promised to collaborate with the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) to curb building collapse. (NAN)