By Lilian Okoro
Lagos – Mrs Lola Adetona, Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE), Lagos Chapter, says the institution has set up a monitoring team that goes around the state to detect construction sites where standards of construction are being compromised.
She said that the move was part of efforts to stem the spate of building collapse in the state, which was largely caused by use of substandard material.
Adetona spoke in Lagos on Saturday as NICE, in collaboration with Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC), embarked on “a walk for fitness exercise” with the theme “Walk For Stability”, to sensitise the public on the need for structural stability in buildings.
“The special team will provide information to appropriate authority on any suspected illegal development or structurally defective building.
“The objective is to proffer lasting solution to the issue of building collapse. A building is said to have general structural stability if its localised damage does not lead to widespread collapse,” she said.
Adetona said that walk was part of efforts to create awareness around incidence of collapsed buildings and sensitise the public on the need to pay attention to structural stability.
She said that structural stability in buildings could be assured through observation and adherence to codes, conduct and safety protocols at every stage of construction.
Contributing, Mrs Amusu Idiat, past President, Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), said the walk was also to promote healthy living, potential networking and synergy among operators in the built environment.
Idiat said there was the need for collaboration and synergy between the governments and the operators in the built environment in the pursuit for a liveable environment.
She reiterated the need to discourage unapproved construction, saying that all clients or building developers should be compelled to comply with approved building regulations.
Idiat said that all building construction works should be well designed and supervised by registered and responsible authorities/professionals.
According to her, the government can as well set up corps who can be moving around to dictate structurally defected buildings and report to the appropriate authority.
“Presently, the incidence of building collapse has reduced to a great extent, but the engineers will not relent in advocacy and efforts toward attending a zero per cent building collapse.
“The issue of building collapse will be past story if Nigerians can refrain from patronising quacks and unregistered professionals.
“Let the authority responsible for granting building plan approval review and reduce the requirements and costs of obtaining the document to make it more affordable.
“Most people failed to obtain or comply to the building plan because of the cost implications,” Idiat said.
In his remarks, Mr Hakeem Dickson, Director-General of LSSC, said the commission would always support programmes aimed at ensuring safety of the environment.
Dickson urged Nigerians to ensure they engage the services of qualified professionals who were well trained in the profession to avert construction failures.
“Our concern is to ensure that safety is maintained at all times at work places.
“It is not until a building collapses, we start shedding tears. We need to sit up and continuously push for proactive measures to ensure a safety environment at all times,” he said. (NAN)