Stakeholders in the built environment have bemoaned the incessant incidence of building collapse in the country saying government and all the authorities in the industry should rise to the occasion of forestalling the future occurrence. They say this should be done with accurate regulation to make sure mistakes of the past are not repeated.
Engr. Obiora Okeke, an independent developer said that it was high time issues concerning building collapse are handled with iron hands else more catastrophes would be wrecked beyond imagination. “Government should stop treating building collapse issues with kid gloves because what we are talking about here is life and property. Nigerians prefer cutting corners than taking pains, hence the none prosecution of defaulters.
Another respondent, Hon. Anthony Anya Okafor, noted that the problem does not stem from government quarters rather, from self-supervised individuals who assume larger than life positions. “But I think one everyday is for the thief but one day is for the owner. That day, devil will become the major victim. On the other hand, government representatives should up the ante and enforce the law as profiled,”he said.
It will be recalled that recently no fewer than 10 buildings, including a school and church, have collapsed at Obeleagu St. and Nkissi Aroli axis of Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State following erosion caused by downpour.
Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, accompanied by the Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke, on inspection tour of erosion sites in Anambra State, in Umuatuora Enugwu Ukwu
Obeleagu community in Onitsha metropolis has been threatened by gully erosion which has turned into an unending nightmare for the people of the area.
The Minister of State for Environment, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, accompanied by the Deputy Governor of the state, Dr Nkem Okeke, had in October 2019 inspected the erosion site and promised that work would be carried out on the site.
However, the member representing Onitsha North 2 State Constituency, Mr Edward Ibuzo, described the situation as “an emergency that needs urgent attention”.
Ibuzo, who is also the Chairman, House Committee on Environment, expressed sadness that the erosion had continued to worsen each time it rained. “The issues have been discussed at the plenary of the state House of Assembly and we have informed the state governor, even the Federal Government had some time ago sent a delegation to inspect the damage.
“Things like this should be taken seriously because it involves lives and property which is the responsibility of government,” the lawmaker said. While promising to draw the attention of NEWMAP to the erosion site, Ibuzo advised residents of the area to relocate pending when palliative work would be carried on the site.
A resident of the area, Mr Godwin Aniakor, expressed sadness that several property had been destroyed due to the erosion. Aniakor, who said the erosion had rendered many citizens homeless, noted that it started eight years ago.
He described the level of menace as “devastating and worrisome” and urged both the federal and state government to come to their rescue.
Another resident, Mr Christian Onwudinjo, who was seen dismantling the structure of his building, said they were living in danger therefore had to make plans for relocation.
Onwudinjo also appealed to the government to intervene in the situation as the erosion might worsen and lead to unavoidable deaths as well as further loss of property.