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Substandard buildings: BCPG seeks Buhari’s intervention

By on September 22, 2015

The Building Collapse Prevention Guild has called on the government of President MuhammaduBuhari to support professionals in the built environment in the fight against substandard building construction in the country.

In a statement signed by the National President, BCPG, Mr. KunleAwobodu, the guild noted that the construction industry needed the wind of change that was currently blowing across the energy, financial and civil service sectors of the nation.

He said that this was required to sanitise the built environment, adding that low staff strength, bureaucracy, inexperience, poor methodology, sentiments, cowardice, compromise, corruption and lack of enforcement were the major problems of physical planning and building control operations across the country.

Awobodu said, “When the majority’s interest in a service is not determined by passion but by immediate pecuniary gains in a deteriorating societal value, the collective desire for an organised society will remain a mirage.

“If people entrusted with the duty of implementing regulations and laws on physical planning and building control had been knowledgeable, sincere, steadfast and committed, the danger of slum growth and defective buildings would have been nipped in the bud from the outset. Preventing haphazard development and substandard building construction is less expensive and more effective to demolition.”

The BCPG president stated that the latest tragedy at Bukuru, Jos, Plateau State in which a school building collapsed was a grim evidence of an extremely slow progress in the revival of standard construction in the country.

He noted, “Earlier in the month, exactly Wednesday, September 9, the Mekaval Hotel at Effurun area of Warri collapsed, with many people sustaining injuries. The collapse of the two-storey building of the Abu Naib Islamic School in Bukuru near Jos on Sunday, September 13, 2015 was a painful reminder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations’ seven-storey building that collapsed in Ikotun, Lagos on Friday, September 12, 2014. In the collapse of these two religious buildings, lives were lost.

“Collapse of buildings in this peculiar month of September when Buhari’s government marked its 100 days is a wakeup call on the issue of substandard construction in the Nigerian built environment. The unfortunate incidents that coincided with this government’s preparation time for the greater activities ahead should arouse the interest of the President and governors on building collapse prevention. Hence, the issue of safe built environment should be placed on the priority list.”

The builder said the problem of building collapse in the country was largely man-made.

“In those days when there was orderliness in the system, building collapse was a rare occurrence. As the system gradually collapsed, the nation descended into the era of impunity and lack of respect for rules and regulations,” Awobodu added.