…FG to prosecute owners of collapsed buildings
From Magnus Eze, Abuja
The Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) will soon produce digitised subgrade soil maps of various parts of the country, Director General, Prof. Danladi Matawal, has said.
Matawal who dropped the hint in Abuja when Science and Technology Minister, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu paid an unscheduled visit to the agency recently, said, the project would have been concluded but for the security challenges in the North East.
“What we are doing is not surface mappings because we dig as far as 2 meters in all the states except Borno. In Yobe and and parts of Adamawa, we had to be escorted by the military because of the security problem there”, he stated.
The DG added that the maps would also provide guidance for builders in the country, so that “before you go to a place, you will have idea of the type of soil there”.
Prof. Matawal blamed frequent building collapse and road failure in the country to non- adherence to building specifications, particularly poor concreting.
He explained that most artisans and craft men involved in construction are not knowledgeable in the field. The NBRRI boss also decried inadequate regulation on the part of the town planning departments of municipal councils, adding that “Basically, there are issues of material specifications. Apart from specification in terms of properties and strength, there is also the sizing of members as well as the foundation soils. Another very important issue is drainage on our soils.”
He stated that NBRRI has carried out a number of case studies on both road failure and building collapse in the country such as the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway; Abuja-Kaduna Express Way, Kaduna-Kano Expressway and a few others.
The DG further disclosed that government was reviewing the federal highway specifications for roads and bridges, adding that efforts were being made to adequately pursue design and at the same time ensure that builders adhere to specifications at construction sites.
He warned that government would henceforth ensure prosecution of owners of collapsed buildings.