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Nigeria recorded 41 building collapse in 17 months-Civil engineers

The Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineers (NICE),on Tuesday said Nigeria recorded 41 building collapses in 17 months.

The National Chairman of NICE ,Virgilus Ezugu, made this known at the NICE Building Collapse Prevention Workshop with the theme: ‘St…


The Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineers (NICE),on Tuesday said Nigeria recorded 41 building collapses in 17 months.

The National Chairman of NICE ,Virgilus Ezugu, made this known at the NICE Building Collapse Prevention Workshop with the theme: ‘Stemming the Tide of Building Collapse Menace in Nigeria’ in Abuja.

‘This means that Nigeria recorded more than two building collapses monthly. This is a worrisome trend that needs to be reversed .

‘Building collapse has become a disgrace to the built sector and as core stakeholder with direct responsibility to ensure the protection of lives and properties NICE has stepped up to address it.

‘In 2023, the Institution set up a committee on Building Collapse prevention whose core mandate is to take all necessary steps and advice on ways to halt the tide of incessant collapses of buddings.

‘The Committee swung into action and has been collecting data on reported collapses from January 2023.

‘The data show that over 41 cases have been recorded in the past 17 months
with an average of two and above collapses per month.’

According to Ezugu, this is even more disturbing considering that over 50 per cent of the collapses are not always reported.

Nevertheless ,he said NICE as a responsible professional body has therefore taken the bull by the horn to stem the menace in fulfilment of one of the engineers’ professional codes of public safety through nationwide training.

He said NICE also organised workshops with professionals and other stakeholders with the aim to develop a handbook to guide stakeholders on step by step actions to take in eliminating these incidents.

The Keynote Speaker ,Prof. Samson Duna, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI),attributed building collapse to use of substandard materials among others.

According to Duna, 80 per cent of building collapse happens during the rainy season due to some natural causes and because the materials were substandard, it gives in.

He, therefore, recommended training and retrainin
g of engineers and professionals in the construction sector should attend refresher courses to refresh their knowledge.

He said the government and professional bodies should sensitise the general public on the steps to follow when embarking on building projects.

‘All professional bodies should strengthen its arm of monitoring, to ensure they function effectively during project supervision.

‘ The professionals must be involved in monitoring and evaluation of building projects and funds for the supervision should be cooperated in the cost of the project.

The Guest of Honour ,Prof. Sadiq Abubakar, President ,Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN),said there was need for stakeholders to synergise to address the challenge of building collapse .

‘The built environment needs to be well organised and well structured to do this and COREN has set up 10 committees to look at 10 sectors in this regard.

‘Although the issue might be caused by quacks ,however, the most dangerous quackery is when
a civil engineer tries to do the work of a mechanical engineer.

‘So we need to look into these things.’

Mrs Margaret Oguntala, President of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE),called on engineers to adhere strictly to the principles of safety, reliability and sustainability.

Oguntala, represented by the Executive Secretary of NSE, Joshua Egube, advised engineers to commit to upholding the highest standards of practice, from initial design through to construction and maintenance.

‘This means rigorously applying engineering principles, staying abreast of the latest developments in our field, and continuously updating our skills through professional development.

‘Effective regulation is essential to preventing building collapses.’

Source: News Agency of Nigeria