…To check incessant building collapse
Following the incessant reported cases of building collapse within and outside Abia, the state Executive Council has approved the establishment of the Standard Materials Testing Laboratory in Umuahia.
Okey Kanu, commissioner for Information and Culture, disclosed this while briefing journalists at the Government House in Umuahia on the outcome of this week’s Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Alex Otti.
According to the Commissioner, the setting up of the Standard Materials Testing Laboratory was a sequel to the incessant collapse of buildings in Nigeria with the attendant human and material losses
“This government is trying to ensure that such instances do not occur in our state. The lab may include where they test materials for road construction. It will also provide a platform for a research for those who want to carry out research in such areas. They will be able to use such a facility to carry out research when you want to test materials,” he said.
Kingsley Agomuo, general manager, Umuahia Capital Development Authority, while highlighting the importance of the Standard Materials Testing Laboratory, said that it was an initiative government felt was worthwhile.
“This is also going to assist us to ensure that every building, road construction including bridges meet the required standards. You are also aware that the use of substandard materials is the order of the day, so with this, it’s going to be pretty difficult for you to start any construction work and get any approval at any stage without subjecting the materials you are going to use through this laboratory,” he said.
Agomuo, who said that the lab would also be set up in other areas of the state, maintained that it has the capacity to handle soil test, reinforcement of rods, aggregate materials and asphalt.
He further said that it was not something that would be restricted to building alone but include other forms of constructions.
In another development, Abia State Government has said that all illegal gates round the town and city would be removed to enhance free flow of traffic within Umuahia.
Okey Kanu stressed that, “As it is usual in our style, the streets and areas where these gates exist, the people there will be pleaded with to do the needful to provide access. If they don’t do so, government will enforce compliance.”
He added that those illegal gates impede movements in times of emergencies.
He also added that attachments to buildings or extensions to buildings must be equally removed in the cities.
“If you look round the city, you would see a lot of buildings that bear extensions in front; these attachments have been converted to shops so to speak and government is frowning at that going forward; we want buildings to remain buildings; if you have commercial building, it would serve that purpose; if you have residential building, let them serve that purpose. We expect those involved to take their time to do the needful and remove these stalls,” he said.