By Aderogba George
Abuja -The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called on Nigerians to adherence to building codes to curb the incessant building collapse in the country.
Air Commodore Edward Adedokun, the Director, Search and Rescue of NEMA made the call at the emergency officers stakeholders meeting on Tuesday in Abuja.
The title of the meeting was “After action review on the incident of Dawaki Extension in Abuja’’, on the building which collapsed on July 25.
Adedokun said that there was need for Nigerians and concerned agencies to ensure strict compliance to building codes, and urban planning regulations to reduce the incidents of collapsed structures.
He said that a robust emergency alerting system must be put in place to mitigate the impact of collapsed structures on the lives of the citizenry.
“There is an urgent need for comprehensive insurance policy for all categories of workers engaged in construction activities.
“There is need to close the gap in the huge deficit in emergency response services by all tiers of government and support from mutual aids organisations like construction companies to achieve bottom-top approach to emergency response in Nigeria.
“The bureaucracy that currently exists in reaching out to emergency services before responding to a distress alert should be drastically reduced to allow for more rapid response,’’ Adedokun urged.
Mr Julius Opetusin, the Assistant Comptroller-General, FCT Fire Service stressed on the enforcement of law and order to curb the irrational attitude of some Nigerians on response to emergency.
“Some Nigerians used their irrational attitude to worsen emergency situation by causing obstacles to emergency officers on their way to respond to emergencies,’’ he said.
The Director General, FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Alhaji Idriss Abbas, who corroborated the view of Opetusin said that Nigerian law must be obeyed by citizens.
Abbas, however, urged Nigerians to have attitudinal change by obeying laws at all times rather than causing distractions to emergency officers when they were on national duty.
Mr Bitrus Samuel, the Head, Abuja Operation Office, NEMA said the expectations of the agency was to identify what was right, what the agency did wrong and how it could improve on its roles in future emergency responses.
“We are expected to use these lessons learnt to improve our preparedness and responses in the future.
“We all know that during the rainy season, aged or old buildings, poorly built structures as a result of low quality building materials or inadequate expertise are susceptible to collapse fall,’’ he said.