Home Feature Building collapse: Estate surveyors propose public enlightenment programmes

Building collapse: Estate surveyors propose public enlightenment programmes


The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Lagos State branch has asked the government of the state to develop a robust public enlightenment programmes as part of initiatives to end building collapse.

The Chairman of the branch, Mr Olurogba Orimalade, said it had become apparent that ignorance had a major role to play in the rising cases of building collapse in Lagos and other parts of the country.

According to him, radio jingles and television commercials such as those developed to create awareness on polio, HIV/AIDS and other social issues, should be used to educate the public on the dangers of patronising quacks, using substandard construction materials and evading regulatory agencies when building a house.

Orimalade said, “In our view, the solution must begin with public enlightenment that is thorough, so that the public can appreciate the essence of adherence to law.

“There is a need for the Lagos State Government as well as the Federal Government to come out aggressively through a robust enlightenment strategy. It will awaken the imagination of an average Nigerian. We have been trading blames and accusing the government but each and every one of us has a role to play. We must take responsibility as Nigerians.”

He said construction education for professionals in the built environment as well as for those in regulatory agencies, should be repackaged to make it more regulated, practical and certified.

He explained that in particular, artisans should be trained regularly and incentives built into training to encourage compliance while construction materials should be inspected at every stage of a project.

“The point about materials inspection arises because many imported building materials are substandard and because they are often not tested before they are put in the market for sale, builders use them, believing they are of the right specification, only for them to fail,” he added.

According to him, lots of wrought irons are being brought into the country for construction and nobody cares about their quality.

He also urged the government to equip and properly fund relevant agencies while the cost of obtaining approvals should be reduced to encourage compliance.

Orimalade noted that many property owners did not seek building approval because of the official cost and the alleged extortionate behaviour of the officials in charge.

He said building collapse had become a national problem, having spread beyond Lagos to other cities and must be tackled holistically.

He said some major causes of building collapse were poor designs and specifications at planning stage due to reliance on uncertified architectural technicians, poor adherence to construction standards and alleged corrupt practices among building enforcement officers who approved substandard plans and collected gratification. Punch


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