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Sanwo Olu tasks professionals on solution to building collapse

The Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has charged professionals in the built industry to collaborate and find a lasting solution to frequent building collapse in Nigeria.

The governor spoke to the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), the professional body for builders who converged in Lagos recently for the 51st Builders’ annual conference.

“I want to use this opportunity to implore and charge you all to work with other professionals in this industry to find a lasting solution to the building collapse incidents and upgrade your expertise,” Sanwo-Olu said in his goodwill message at the conference.

The governor, who was represented by Aramide Adeyoye, his special adviser on works and infrastructure, noted that the theme of this year’s conference, ‘Advancing Technologies, Systems and Standards for Sustaining Building Construction’ was consistent with the state’s technology-driven Smart City agenda.

The agenda, he explained, would enhance the programmes and plans of the government in improving the lives and welfare of its citizens.

“The builders’ role takes prominence at the construction stage and thus entrusted to take charge of the activities on a building construction site in translating designs, specifications and lot more into a physical structure,” the governor said.

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He reasoned that structures could be built in the most efficient and cost effective manner when a builder is brought early into the planning process, adding that the quality of structures would impact the lives of people economically, socially and mentally.

However, the governor believes that opportunities for exposure must be provided for builders to acquire more knowledge to develop global best practices.

“As a government, we are determined to continue to provide the enabling environment that will allow professionalism to thrive. We will continue to ensure laws, regulations and policies guiding the building industry are met and attainable,” Sanwo-Olu stated.

The governor was conferred with an honorary fellow of the institute by the national council of the NIOB. “This conferment will continue to be a symbol for encouragement to the state for the standard obtained in construction and safety in buildings ,” he said.

Kunle Awobodu, NIOB national president, said the primary motive of those who engage in quackery is to make immediate pecuniary gains, while giving little consideration to the risks involved.

According to him, the outcome of many investigations of collapsed buildings in Nigeria has revealed quackery as the prime cause. “Quackery in building construction has really turned gains to pains in many homes. Quackery has left on its trail a tale of woes,” Awobodu said.

According to Awobodu, Lagos Island has the highest incidence of building collapse in Nigeria. Hence, that part of the country really needed rapid regeneration to forestall further collapse of buildings.

He noted that substandard building construction is a juicy, lucrative business for ‘selfish developers in the informal sector, lamenting that lack of prosecution has been the bane of building collapse prevention.

“Quackery thrives where justice is not sought in the law court. Sentiment begets negligence. Collapse of building is a rare occurrence in advanced countries such as the United States of America,” he noted.

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