The Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) has declared March 13 every year as Builders’ day to raise awareness on the need for a standard building production process in Nigeria.
NIOB’s 3rd Vice President, Bldr. Bimbo Kolade stated this in an exclusive interview with Housing TV in Abuja.
He described a recent report by the Building Collapse Prevention Guild which highlighted staggering statistics of building collapse incidents in the last six years as disturbing.
Bldr. Kolade said ‘’between 2014 and 2019, there has been an increase in the number of building collapse incidents in this nation. And we wonder if are we going forward or are we going backward. In 2019, we had about 43 building collapse incidents, 17 happened in Lagos, Anambra had 6, Plateau and Delta had 3 each, Oyo, Enugu, Ondo and Osun states had 2 while Imo, Kwara, Abia, Adamawa and Katsina states had one building collapse incident’’
He noted that the disturbing statistics has made it necessary for the NIOB in conjunction with the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) to raise the consciousness of people and to call the attention of the relevant authorities on the need for the country to practice a standard professional practice in the industry.
On the choice of March 13, he said ‘’An incidence happened on March 13, 2019 in Lagos in an area called Ita-Faji. On that fateful day, there was a building collapse. It was a public utility building being used for a private school. About 20 pupils aged between 8 to 12 years old died that day.’’
‘’a day like that is significant not just because people died, there is always casualty in most building collapse in Nigeria, but this particular one involved children which was completely avoidable which we don’t want to happen again in this nation because they are the future of our country whose lives were just wasted like that out of somebody’s carelessness, somebody’s nonchalant attitude to standard practice, somebody’s non observance of even basic procedures on the construction site.’’
The theme for this year’s Builders’ day is ‘’Stop building collapse: Engage a professional builder to get your work done’’
The event will take place simultaneously across the federation and will feature road show, press conferences, public lecture, symposiums and a visit to offices of state governors and speakers of state houses of assemblies, to raise their consciousness on the need to ensure necessary steps are taken to promote quality building production processes.
Members of the NIOB will also pay a visit to the National Assembly to call for a speedy passage of the National Building Code which has been before the federal lawmakers since 2003.
He called on all Nigerians interested in owning their own homes to join the NIOB on this day to raise the consciousness about building collapse incidents in the country.
On measures that can be put in place to checkmate the activities of quacks in the industry, he said ‘’ there are laws, but no impetus to enforce them. How many people like developers and even owners have been punished for incidents of building collapse, you just hear it or see it in the newspapers for a number of days, it is faded off and that is it. That’s why we are saying as professional builders, we need to know. We must join hands together to ensure every project promoter has the necessary professional working with you’’
The Vice President called on the government to ensure that before approval is given for building work in any construction site, the developer must submit alongside his documents a building production process and site safety programme as a way of ensuring that the due process has been followed.
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