No fewer than 43 buildings under construction collapsed in Nigeria in 2019, according to the Nigerian Institute of Building, NIOB.
Kunle Awobodu, the National President, NIOB, said this when a team from the institute visited the acting-Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria, Ibrahim Mammaga, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Mr Awobodu was represented by the 3rd Vice President of the institute, Bimbo Kolade.
According to him, statistics show that 43 houses under construction caved in and claimed lots of lives and 17 of which occurred in Lagos.
“The recent statistics of building collapse in the year 2019 alone show that 43 structures under construction or near finishing came down throughout the federation.
“Out of these, 17 of the incidents happened in Lagos state alone and other states of the federation have their own share.
“As professionals, a major practice within the building environment is to educate Nigerians because we have realised that the major issues of collapse is the lack of consciousness of the people on the need to use of quality products.
“So this is why we decided to embark on advocacy to create the awareness on every individual on the need to ensure quality building production management in the country,’’ Mr Awobodu said.
Mr Awobodu said this was the reason the institute was creating a day to promote awareness on the issues of building collapse.
He said it was the institute’s duty as a professional body to ensure that citizens had habitable buildings or housing facility as a whole “because it goes beyond dwelling place alone’’.
According to him, March 13, has been picked as a day for the advocacy.
He said that the day was significant to create such awareness because of the collapse that occurred in Ita Faaji, Lagos, which claimed lives of young citizens.
“March 13 is a significant day in the incidence of building collapse in this nation because on this day in 2019, an incident happened in Lagos state where a building under construction collapsed.
“The building happens to be housing young Nigerians who are between the ages of eight, nine, 10 and maximum of 12.
“On that faithful day, about 20 of these young school pupils died in that accident.
“As a professional body which operates within the youth environment, the youth agreed that a day like this should be set aside and named, `Builders Day’.
He, therefore, solicited the support of the agency in creating the awareness adding that the issue of building collapse should concern every citizen as anyone on a building site was at risk.
Responding, Mr Mammaga, said that more stringent measures should be taken against defaulters in incidences of building collapse in the country.
According to him, stronger punishment should be meted out to all those that are found to be culpable in the incidences of building collapse that usually claim lives of citizens across the country.
“Your institute has to wake up to its responsibilities to ensure the safety of individuals on building sites.
“Many times, after the first report of collapse and the clearing of the debris nothing more is heard about the matter.
“Nobody is brought to book to serve as deterrent to others. There should be a strict penalty for offenders.
“A brick layer becomes a builder, a carpenter, anyone found on a construction site claims to be an engineer; so I urge the institute to apply more punitive measures,’’ Mr Mammaga said.
He, however, assured the institute of the agency’s support and cooperation in its entire advocacy in creating awareness on the issues of building collapse.
NAN reports that the Nigerian Institute of Building is a government managed Professional body of builders and those who are engaged in the art and profession of constructing buildings.