As building collapse continues to take its toll on the nation’s built environment, the president, Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Olayemi Shonubi, has urged the governments to ensure due process and regulations are strictly adhered to in building construction.
The NIQS boss in his address at the quarterly interactive forum organised by the Property and Environment Writers’ Association of Nigeria (PEWAN) in Lagos said corruption and unprofessional conducts are responsible for frequent cases of building collapse in the country.
He said, ‘’The spate of collapse of buildings under construction in recent time, with the attendant loss of lives, properties, investment, income/livelihood, is a sad development that calls to question the credibility and integrity of the entire construction process from application for planning approvals/building permits to the Monitoring of the actual Constructions to ensure that they conform to the approvals given up to the issuance of certificate of fit for habitation.
‘’There is therefore the need for the state government to strengthen her policies for obtaining planning approvals, Building Permits as well enforcement of the various policies enacted in the past to ensure adequate monitoring of the actual construction to prevent further occurrences.’’
Shonubi urged the governments at all levels to strengthen the laws governing the construction process and include provisions for severe penalties, not only fines for everyone involved in any collapsed building project from approval level to execution level.
He said, ‘’ Endemic corruption at all levels has blinded most from adherence to professionalism and so much so that they don’t care to sacrifice money for human life. We have gotten to a stage where professional blacklisting as a punitive measure alone is not sufficient to no longer address the issue as erring professionals can always get something else doing to make a living. But when an erring professional is made to face life imprisonment or death sentence, l reckon that this will help to bring sanity as well curb these untoward development ‘’.
Harping on the implications of the increase in the cost of construction materials on affordable housing, Shonubi said the current increase in the cost of construction materials is attributable to the current invasion of the Ukraine by Russia which has led to rising energy and logistics costs globally.