The Nigeria Institute of Builders (NIOB) has absolved its members from the incessant defaults noticed in building construction in the country. NIOB said that quacks who infiltrate the profession that created the problems to cut cost and make gains.
Speaking during the Builder’s Day Celebration recently at the Ndubisi Kanu Memorial Park, in Ikeja, the National President of NIOB, Mr. Kunle Awobodu, said that Nigeria has an established system of producing professional builders and blamed the activities of quacks for all the irregularities in the industry.
According to him, “absolutely without doubt, the Nigerian Government was proactive by taking preemptive measures, installing a system that has been producing Professional Builders. However, the second phase that should complement the initial proactiveness of the government is the institutionalization of a mechanism that will ensure that building production on sites is managed by the Professional Builder.
“This simple approach that has just been adopted by the Lagos State Government in its new Building Regulations should be emulated across Nigeria with commitment and enforcement in line with global best practices. That is our prayer and it is legitimate.
“Importantly, the government should be reminded of the fundamental relevance of building to its citizenry. Out of the three basic needs of man, that is, food,clothing and shelter, shelter or building is the one that can stand the test of time. Building is the most durable and, hence, it is cherished by the citizens as the bequest for the unborn.
“In recognition of the importance of buildings, housing scheme takes a prominent position in the programmes of most governments. Construction of buildings is the barometer of a thriving economy. What distinguishes a city from a town, and a town from a village is the number and quality of buildings.
“With the aspiration most Nigerians nurse to have their own buildings, the Nigerian Government should assist them to ensure that they do not fall victims of the preying quacks, the impostors that are currently superintending where they lack competence and thereby turning shelter into grave,”he said.
He regretted that on March 13, 2019 at No. 63, Massey Street, Ita-Faaji, Lagos Island, a five-storey building collapsed, injuring occupants and claiming the lives of over 20 persons, including pupils.
Awobodu said that the incident witnessed condemnation of the Nigerian Government across the world over what was termed its tolerance on incompetence and compromise on due diligence in the housing sector, making building collapse an unending phenomenon.
“Premature death of school children in a building that was constructed by quacks (developers), and had been showing visible signs of distress revealed a negligence that could not be excused by the government.
“As we commiserate with the bereaved families on the anniversary of the demise of their kids, Professional Builders in Nigeria under the auspices of the Nigerian Institute of Building have earmarked March 13 as the annual sober reflection on and reminder of the evil being perpetrated by quacks in the Nigerian building construction industry. Yet there are several substandard and distressed buildings constructed by quacks on the Lagos Island and other parts of the country waiting to collapse.