Aregbesola tasks professionals on building collapse
Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola has called on the Nigerian Institute of Building [NIB} to check the menace of building collapse, which has become a common feature in the society.
Aregbesola gave the charge at the University of Ibadan Conference Centre, Oyo State, where he was honoured by the Institute during its 45th annual conference.
He reiterated his administration commitment not to allow the economic recess which has hit many states in the country to hinder its efforts to give Osun a facelift through its carefully planned urbanisation programme He said urbanisation and other efforts aimed at transforming communities in the state would be pursued vigorously despite the limited resources n realisation that the built environment is the crowning glory of all civilisation.
A statement by the Director,Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Semiu Okalawon said Aregbesola was deemed fit for the award because of his several landmark achievements which include massive construction of roads, mega schools, hospitals, new markets, security, school feeding programme and others Aregbesola commended the institute for identifying with the successes of his administration in Osun despite what he called targeted and sustained attacks and criticisms from opposition of his government over inability to pay salaries promptly.
Dignitaries present at the event included Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, President, Nigerian Institute of Building, Builder Tunde Lasabi, former Head of Service of the Federation, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof Isaac Adewole and others.
The governor also lauded the institute for its efforts at improving the environment and for imposing standard on building construction tasked members of the institute to tackle the challenge of building collapse in the country.
He said, ‘‘an accompanying problem of regulation failure is building collapse, which has become a scourge of the cities. Buildings, even those still under construction, have been in free-fall, sometimes killing people and causing grievous bodily harm. I have no doubt that these are of serious concerns to your body and you are seriously addressing it”.
Aregbesola stressed that his administration has returned sanity to the built environment with the need to make buildings in Osun safe and create a beautiful environment at the same time.
The governor while describing the built environment in Osun as challenging stressed that most of the cities in the state that would qualify as urban centres are historical places, existing for more than 500 years.
According to him, “When our administration came into office, we did an assessment of the condition of urban centres in the state and discovered that the cities were built with wealth realised from exported cash crops.
But when this economy collapsed, the houses built from this wealth suffered neglect and were collapsing too. “By our assessment, we discovered that 38,000 buildings have become dilapidated and deteriorating and will need urgent separation and consequently rebuilding. “The urgent task before us is to renew the urban centres, upgrade the slums and build future cities. Through the renewal programme, we are transforming the urban centres into modern ones.
He noted that nine cities of Osogbo, Ilesa, Ile-Ife, Ikire, Ejigbo, Ede, Iwo, Ikirun and Ila-Orangun are under the renewal exercise covering a kilometre radius from the Oba’s palace, regarded as the centre of town in each city.
Aregbesola pointed out that his administration has renewed negotiation with the UN-Habitat by paying counterpart fund of N100 million.
Other cities, besides the initial nine, will receive similar attention in due course. He emphasised that plans for the towns and cities are long-range plans, which will cover a radius of 25 kilometres.
He held that such plans are meant to lay a solid foundation for the development of the towns and cities for the next 20 years, as well as help assuage the problems of urbanisation in the state.