Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Oyo State government has summoned the site engineer in charge of the three-storey building that collapsed on workers on Friday evening at Shogoye area of Idi-Arere, Ibadan.
Director-General, Bureau of Physical Planning and Development Control in the state, Alhaji Waheed Gbadamosi, told journalists that the site engineer was summoned to explain in writing what led to the collapse of the building.
The three-storey building collapsed at 5:34 pm last Friday and all the trapped workers were rescued alive, although some of them that sustained varying degrees of injury were hospitalised.
The state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who sent a delegation led by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan, to hospitals where the injured victims are receiving treatment, has promised to settle the hospital bills of the victims on humanitarian grounds.
Gbadamosi noted that the preliminary reports on the possible cause of the disaster revealed that standard materials were used for the construction, but “we have found out that they did not allow the curing period to lapse before they continued with the construction.
“When you do your decking, you must allow it to cure for 21 days before you start to put blocks on it. But they did not allow that three weeks to lapse. I think they were in a hurry to complete the building.
“Again, the site engineer was not professional enough to advise his client to wait. I am sure, by the time they were putting more loads on it, definitely, it will come down. It is like you are putting too much load on your head, your neck will just crack and you will go down. So, that was what happened.”
Gbadamosi said that if the site engineer refused to honour the invitation, the government would report him to his professional body, the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), saying “by the time we report him to COREN, the body may deregister him.”
He stated further that the government had always been ensuring that “any developer comes with his or her own engineer. The engineer will sign an undertaking with us with COREN stamp to undertake the supervision of any structure from foundation to completion.
“Then, we have introduced a new system that when you complete your building, you must come back to tell us. Then, we will come and examine whether you are worthy of being given what we call a certificate of completion. You will pay a token, like N25,000. If you don’t give you the certificate of completion, it means the building is not worthy of being inhabited by any individual, not even goats.”