From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
Council for the Regulation of Engineering (COREN) has recommended that all those involved in the construction of the collapsed 21-storey building at 44 Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State, be prosecuted, especially Lagos State Building Control.
The building which collapsed on November 1, 2021, trapped over 50 persons, including the firm’s Managing Director, Femi Osibona; his friend, a United States of America-based Nigerian businessman, Wale Bob-Oseni; his personal assistant, Oyinye Enekwe, and clients.
Speaking at the opening of the 30th Engineering Assembly of the council, yesterday in Abuja, the president of COREN, Engineer Ali Rabiu indicted the client who is also the developer and the contractor, saying that he did not discharge his responsibilities with the weight that comes with it.
According to him, the client engaged an engineering contracting firm rather than an engineering consulting firm to design the buildings.
“Quality assurance and control was lacking, with insufficient sampling and testing of concrete as well as poor project management on the project site.
Health and safety measures were clearly not evident on the site as there was no record of the visitors / workers on the site as at the time of the collapse.
There were lapses during the approval and supervision processes” he observed
He equally blamed the regulatory authorities, particularly the Lagos State Building Control, noting that approvals were not available.
“The cause of the collapse of the 21-storey building was adjudged to be due to combined stress failure of the columns at the lower floors” he said.
To this effect, he advised that developers should constantly be reminded that using unqualified and/or unregistered professionals is counterproductive.
Meanwhile, Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, yesterday, inaugurated a the nine-member Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria ( COREN), charging them to ensure that the ethics guiding the engineering profession are upheld.
Fashola reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to the development of infrastructure.
“As you are all aware our government is committed to infrastructure development and as you all know infrastructure brings development to the country. It boosts our economy. It creates employment and it enables the nation to compete for continental and global space.” he said
The minister noted that members of the engineering profession have been and will continue to play a significant role in this regard and stressed the need for COREN to ensure that professionalism is at its peak. He charged them to uphold the moral and ethical standards of the profession, adding that true professionals always do the right thing no matter the situation and will not compromise standards in the face of pressure.