Industry Experts have proffered solutions to the incessant cases of building collapse in the country. The experts listed among others solutions, the need for the Federal Government to enact the National Building Code, put in place a Construction Industry Commission, training and retraining of building practitioners and strict adherence to quality building materials according to specifications.
The solutions were contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a national dialogue session on Collapsed Buildings organised by Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc, in Abuja recently. The theme of the dialogue was "Building Safe, Living Safe: Curbing The Menace of Collapsed Buildings"
The Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, University of Lagos, Prof. M.A Salau posited that the general public has a major role in preventing the incidence of building collapse.
He said further actions are necessary on the part of government regulatory bodies to establish the measures proffered and also ensure their enforcement throughout the construction industry in Nigeria.
The Honourable Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, RT. Hon. Nduese Essien, said Government is set to halt construction failures and bring to book, all those violating laid down procedures for construction activities.
In his address, the Chairman, House Committee on Housing & Habitat, Hon. Abubakar Garba Matazu, noted that the first thing that should be done is to look at the national building code and enact a legislation that will prescribe very serious punishments for defaulters who put up building structures without making use of professionals and quality materials. Hon Matazu however promised to facilitate the passage of this bill.
Also speaking at the event, The DG of Standard Organisation of Nigeria, Dr. John Akanya gave assurance that the organisation will fulfill its role of ensuring that only acceptable high quality building materials either locally produced or imported gets to the market.
On what informed the dialogue, The Chairman of Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc, Chief Segun Osunkeye said there is a need to address this issue which requires immediate and strict measures to ensure safer shelter is achieve for all. He said the subject is relevant than ever as even globally, quality shelter has been listed as part of the millennium development goals.
Osunkeye further informed that" As a company who has, for the past 50 years been at the forefront of cement manufacturing and provision of safe, comfortable housing for millions of Nigerians, we have taken it upon ourselves to continue to play a vital role in the society. As a world-class organization, we will continue challenging ourselves to move to the forefront as a true leader in our market and industry."
In the same vein, the Managing Director/CEO of the company, Samy Abdelkader said as industry leader, it gives them profound joy to be at the forefront of contributing to the improvement of the society as a responsible corporate citizen.
"We at Lafarge is proud of being at the centre of this initiative and request you all to join us in the effort to attack and solve this problem that besets building and construction in Nigeria"
Continuing, Abdelkader said, "our concern for Health and Safety is a major reason why we have incorporated this programme as part of the activities lined up to mark our 50th anniversary of cement production. As many of you may be aware, Health and Safety is Lafarge's first Business priority. Health and Safety is a commitment that has gradually become a way of life for the Lafarge family as we believe that Health and Safety are core values that must be incorporated into all aspects of our business"
The experts observed that the incidence of building collapse has become more prevalent in the last 10 years, incidentally at a time when more qualified professionals abound in the country.
The National Dialogue on Building Collapse which was organised by Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc is intended to identify, reflect and find solutions to this problem and promote safety and qualitative housing for Nigerians.
Experts anchor their discussions on the building collapse in major cities of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt in which many lives were lost and several people injured.