• Tuesday, March 05, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Building collapse: Apapa is the new story

20230424_014831_0000

Again, Apapa, Nigeria’s premier port city in Lagos, is in the news for the wrong reason.

As though the 12 years of crippling traffic gridlock in the area is not enough sad story to tell, the port city recorded a building collapse incident following a heavy downpour that took the better part of Sunday morning.

The building collapse, coming just 11 days after a similar incident in Banana Island, involved a three-storey building still under construction on 45, Ladipo Oluwo Street in the GRA part of the port city.

Early responders to the scene of the incident said the building caved in following a thunder strike during the early morning downpour.

Magret Adeseye, a director at Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, who confirmed the incident, said there was no casualty, adding however that efforts were on to remove the rubble.

Asimiyu Tiamiyu of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp in Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Council Development Area (LCDA), who was also among the early callers, corroborated the fact that no casualty was recorded in the incident.

Increasingly, it is becoming clear that there is something fundamentally amiss with either the building approval or monitoring/supervision processes or both in Lagos State which gives teeth to the suggestion by David Majekofunmi, chairman, Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Lagos State Chapter.

Majekodunmi had, at a press conference in Lagos, suggested that the state government should start outsourcing the monitoring of project sites in the state, pointing out that findings from a research they conducted some years ago showed that there were 48,000 project sites in the state.

“I am not sure the state has up to 200 architects or 200 engineers dedicated to monitoring this huge number of project sites. So, it is high time they started outsourcing monitoring,” he said.

Beyond approvals and monitoring, professionals also insist that, most times, building collapse happens when corruption takes place, advising that, to reduce the high incidence of the collapse, government needs to strengthen the construction institutions.

“Construction is not the job of just anybody but professionals and not just any professional. Within the construction space, there are builders and there are architects.
Everybody should do the specific jobs they are trained to do,” Tope Odighe, CEO, Reb360 said.

Read also: CHAPTER 6: Apapa traffic congestion and Eto

To Morinke Molehin, CEO, Oakandteak, though it is difficult to establish the immediate causes, cases of building collapse still point back to the government at the end of the day,
“I still push it down to the government because to have that size of buildings means they have gone through approvals.

Even though the company, developers and everyone are supposed to have done their due diligence, I feel that by the end of the day, the fact that it was approved and gotten to that stage means a lot,” she said.

She said there was need to have safe government policies that ensure things were done the way they were supposed to be done.