Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has charged members of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) work with other professionals in the nation’s built environment industry to end the menace of building collapse in the country.
Available statistics have revealed that no fewer than 461 incidents of building collapse occurred in Nigeria in the last 47 years (October 1974 to July 2021) with Lagos State topping others with 295 incidents, amounting to 65 per cent of the cases in the country. It was also discovered that Lagos Island alone accounted for 67 (23 per cent) of the incident in the state.
Within this space, the total number of recorded deaths is about 1,090, with an uncountable number of the injured.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the ongoing 51st Builders’ Annual Conference in Lagos, Governor Sanwo-Olu remarked that the conference had become a platform for builders and professionals in the building industry to brainstorm on issues that are essential and relevant to the growth of the industry and nation.
He said the theme of this year’s gathering, “Advancing Technologies, Systems and Standards for Sustaining Building Construction” is germane to the state in attaining and sustaining its technology driven Smart City that would enhance the programmes and plans of the government in improving the lives and welfare of its citizens.
“The Builders’ role takes prominence at the construction stage and thus entrusted to take charge of the activities on a building construction site in translating designs, specification and lot more into a physical structure.
Structures can be built in the most efficient and cost effective manner when a builder is brought early into the planning process.
“The quality of structures will impact the lives of people, economically, socially and mentally. It is pertinent to say that opportunities for exposure be provided for builders to acquire more knowledge to develop global best practices.”
The governor who was represented at the event by his special adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Aramide Adeyoye said, “I want to use this opportunity to implore and charge you all to work with other professionals in this industry to find a lasting solution to the Building collapse and upgrade your expertise.’’
In his address, the president of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr. Kunle Awobodu, lamented the activities of quacks in the industry, saying the outcome of many investigations of collapsed buildings in the country had since revealed that quackery is mainly responsible for the menace.
Awobodu emphasized that until quacks involved in cases of building collapse are brought to book to serve as deterrents, building construction work would remain an attractive business for charlatans.
In his keynote address at the forum, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, decried incessant incidents of building collapse, calling for stringent penalties through the prosecution of culprits in line with the law.
According to him, owners of buildings and quacks or builders who were involved or negligent in building collapse are liable to be prosecuted.