Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) has decried the poor response of states to calls for proper regulation and enforcement of rules on averting building collapse in the country.
It, however, rated Lagos and Ogun states as leaders in the efforts to prevent building collapse and described other states’ indifference to the situation as “unfortunate.”
In a statement issued in Abuja, signed by the chairman of the chapter, Mr Omale Peter Ameh, the institute expressed concern that despite its decade-long advocacy for the passage of the National Building Code, stakeholders at various levels have not done the needful, adding that the masses continue to suffer the consequences as buildings continue to collapse at the expense of lives and properties.
While stating that Lagos and Ogun states must be commended for their responsiveness to the call to address the challenge, the institute admonished the federal government and National Assembly to facilitate the passage of the building code while calling on states to emulate Lagos and Ogun states by enacting policies as well as ensuring the effective monitoring of construction processes.
He called on regulatory authorities at all levels to rise up to the responsibility of ridding the sector of quacks, and explained that although the NIOB is a body of professionals, it cannot perform regulatory function as it is not empowered by law to do so.
“The NIOB will not fold its hands, we cannot afford to watch people die as a result of quackery which became possible as a result of ineffective regulation of the Nigerian building and construction industry,” he said.
“A point of note is that NIOB is an institution, not a regulatory agency or body of government, as a result, it is not possible for NIOB to enforce the law,” he added.
According to the chairman, “advocacy remains the role of the NIOB, and we have been doing that.”
“We have continued to train construction artisans and tradesmen who should be employed by those who want to ensure structural integrity of their buildings. But like I said, it is not part of our mandate to pull down poorly built buildings or to embark on enforcement or regulatory function, but we can help to identify them and we are very willing to do so as part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). So, we have been very successful in terms of mandate delivery.
“As a professional body, we try to educate and enlighten the public. This is how we have continued to reduce and mitigate the longstanding challenge of building collapse in the country. It is unfortunate that as a country, we find ourselves in this avoidable situation. However, people must learn to do the right thing.