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Professionals in Built Environment advocate Construction Courts to end Building Collapse In Nigeria


By Princess-Ekwi Ajide, Abuja

The Nigerian National Assembly had in 2006, promulgated the National Building Code aimed at providing the minimum standards necessary to safeguard life and property, guarantee public health and welfare by effectively regulating the process of design, approval, construction, use and occupancy, creation and maintenance of all buildings and structures.

In spite the National Building Code, 2006, which lays down minimum provisions buildings need in order to ensure public safety, reports show about 400 deaths and over 100 injuries owing to building collapse from 2013.

Non legislation and enforcement of this building code by the National Assembly, some Regulatory and Professional Bodies in the built environment count as reasons for the incessant building collapse in Nigeria.

Rising from a meeting in Abuja, Presidents of the bodies, through the president of the Council for the Regulation of Engineers in Nigeria, COREN,
Engineer Ali Rabiu, also counted non domestication of the National building Code, the use of non-professionals who have no capacity in projects, non-verification of building design, use of sub-standard materials, disparity between the design and construction in Nigeria as some of the causes of building collapse in Nigeria.

They said the development control officers contribute largely to the collapse of buildings in Nigeria and should be held accountable for most of the collapses.

The group, however, made recommendations on how best to curb building collapse to the barest minimum, saying there is need for an Act on Enforcement and compliance of the approved National Building Code by the National Assembly.

According to the Professional Bodies, government should set up a construction court to handle cases of misconduct while state governments must domesticate the codes which the Forum of Regulatory Bodies in the Built Environment would drive.

They also advocated synergy amongst professionals in the built environment, government and regulatory bodies as well as introduce functionality tests for buildings from 2 storey buildings upwards.


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