By Maduka Nweke
The Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) has given reason for frequent building collapse in the country.
Speaking at the 2nd edition of the Builders’ Day held at the Ita Faaji, Lagos, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) the National President of NIOB, Mr. Kunle Awobodu, said that poor management of the building production process on sites has remained a major problem.
Awobodu said that the icomplex activities of building construction require expertise of building professionals adding that the expert to handle this delicate process must be the trained and certified builders, licensed by the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON).
Following the outcome of many investigations on collapsed buildings and the collapse of the five-storey building at Ita-Faaji, NIOB said it has identified that the loophole in the law and development process that had been severally exploited to promote quackery on building sites, in Lagos State in particular and Nigeria in general majorly helped in various collapses.
Awobodu said, ”The main cause of the Ita Faaji calamity was quackery, which also remains the major cause of several building collapses in Nigeria. Closely and generally associated to this fundamental cause is negligence with respect to appropriate building regulations and their enforcement on the part of the government.
The third factor in this series of building collapse is lack of accountability and failure to bring culprits to book. There have been many building collapses in Nigeria. Conservatively, Lagos accounts for about 60 per cent percent of the figure of collapses.
“The worrisome question is: How many of those that participated in the construction of collapsed buildings have been prosecuted? How many culpable government officials have been made accountable?
“Even where there have been efforts at prosecution, such sometimes come too little or too late to achieve the required effects of deterrence. Sometimes even other little efforts towards prosecution are either frustrated or prolonged. Of course, justice delayed is justice denied. Sentiments and political considerations have remained the clog in the wheel of justice. The doctrine of consequence is the appropriate method that can eradicate quackery from building sites in Nigeria .
“The problem with building construction in Nigeria is that some of those who are engaging in it as a business to make quick and cheap money only see the gains, not the risks. Additionally, some of those who are investing in building development have the mindset of profiteering at the expense of quality output. Consequently, for construction work, they prefer to use quacks that would not insist on quality output.This is the reason why buildings constructed by many developers cannot stand the test of time.