Collapse prevention guild seeks reorganisation of planning, building control agencies
DISTURBED by the recurring incidents of structural failures, the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) has called for the reorganisation, sanitizing and strengthening of the federal and States’ ministries of physical planning and building control agencies for better implementation of the established regulations.
The group in statement wants such ministries, agencies and departments to be headed by professionals of high integrity that have natural passion for standard construction and enviable physical planning.
BCPG also tasked the President and the Governors on enumeration of building sites in cities and to determine the staff strength required to monitor such sites as well as advocated for strong enlightenment and enforcement units in ministries and agencies.
The group further demanded that cost of Certificate of Occupancy and building plan approval should be reduced to encourage prospective landowners and developers to obtain them. “Possession of land title documents and building plan approval documents enables landlords and landladies to access bank facilities and reduce the rate of litigation on land matters, according to BCPG President, Kunle Awobodu.
Awobodu, a member of the Nigerian Institute of Building also urged the government to outsource professionals to boost the staff strength to facilitate/quicken building approval process and ensure effective monitoring of construction works as well as eradicate substandard building materials in the market.
He said: “ Low staff strength, bureaucracy, experience, poor methodology, sentiments, cowardliness, compromise, corruption and lack of enforcement are the major bane of physical planning and building control operations across the nation. When the majority’s interest in a service is not determined by passion, flare but by immediate pecuniary gains in a deteriorating societal value, collective desire for an organised society will remain a mirage.
“If people entrusted with the duty of implementing regulations and laws on physical planning and building control have been knowledgeable, sincere, steadfast and committed, the danger of slum growth and defective buildings would have been nipped in the bud from the outset. Preventing haphazard development and substandard building construction is less expensive and more effective to demolition.”
Reacting to the collapse of the Mekaval Hotel at Effurun area of Warri on September 9 and two-storey building of Abu Naib Islamic School in Bukuru near Jos on Sunday, September 13, 2015, he said: “The problem of building collapse in Nigeria is largely of man-made. In those days when there was orderliness in the system, building collapse was a rare occurrence. As the system gradually collapsed, the nation descended to the era of impunity and lack of respect for rules and regulations.
“The latest tragedy at Bukuru, Jos in the recurring decimal of building collapse in the Nigerian built environment is a grim evidence of an extremely slow progress in the revival of standard construction in Nigeria.”
“Collapse of buildings in this peculiar month of September when Buhari’s government marked its 100 days is a wakeup call on the issue of substandard construction in the Nigerian built environment.
“The unfortunate incidents that coincided with this government’s preparation time for the greater activities ahead should arouse the interest of the President and Governors on building collapse prevention. Hence, the issue of safe built environment should be placed on the priority list.