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Building collapse: Adherence to minimum building standard, strict supervision is the panacea- NBRRI

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The Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) has called on relevant stakeholders to adhere strictly to minimum building standard to avert incessant building collapses in the country.

Danladi Mattawal, Director-General of NBRRI made the call in Abuja at a stakeholders’ meeting on “Abuja Building Collapse” organised by the Council for the Regulations of Engineering (COREN).

Mattawal noted that the issue of quality control was also not put in place in the building construction which could be responsible for the collapse.

He appealed to Nigerians, especially the professionals to take the right steps in building constructions as well as maintain proper supervision from the beginning to the end of projects.

According to him, building collapse has been a disturbing menace in the country and should be critically looked into.

“NBRRI has been in the building industry since 2011. What we do is to inspect sites and get technical report on the sites.

“And what we found out in the course of our inspections is very disturbing and this is attributed to our character as Nigerians.

“This is because so many of these occurrences are due to indiscipline from the beginning to the end of projects by some professionals.

“Sometimes the professionals are not taking every step to be taken during construction.

“We do not put in place minimum standard when it comes to building; there are lots of problems at the foundation level in any building collapse and this must be checked.”

He said that NBRRI had done some fact checks on the cause of the recent building collapse at Jabi and discovered that the building was abandoned for 10 years before work later began.

Mattawal said it was also discovered during investigations that the measurement of the foundation footing was inaccurate as well as corroded stirrups were used in the foundation.

The director general also said there was no proper bonding while poor concrete beam and weak bamboo support were among the issues notified during the building examination.

He suggested that any building site above a two-storey building should have signage bearing the name of the construction company, architectural company and those involved in the building.

Mattawal called on all stakeholders to go to the drawing board and address their members about urban and regional planning before taking up a project on any site.

“Our presentation is specific on the collapse. It’s quite conclusive. We have taken time and rigorous study that the implementation on the site was quite shoddy.

“The materials used are of poor quality, the depth of the foundation was very low and the sizes on the members were inadequate for the particular design and intended use of the structure.

“We have also been assured by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) that based on this report further action is to be taken; those found culpable will be punished.’’

Earlier, Kashim Ali, President of COREN called on stakeholders in the building industry to expand their scope, thereby contributing their quota toward sustaining the building industry.

Ali regretted the collapse as there had been an earlier report concerning the building but measures were not taken to avert it.

“The monitoring team are still doing their work but on a lower scale because they have actually done a lot of work.

“They have actually compiled reports on abandoned building that’s why we are not happy about this collapse because there had been an observation concerning the collapsed building.

“The essence of the meeting, therefore, is for us to expand our scope because when there is collapse in Nigeria, everybody in the building industry is pointed at.

“I want to urge us to expand our discussion to deal with the issue. Building is not a rocket science, we need to put in place more efforts to prevent occurrence of such collapse.”

Similarly, the Director, FCT Development Control, Murtar Galadima, said it had outlined some programmes to minimise the menace and as such had tried to eliminate the use of quacks in construction industry.

Galadima explained that the department was already embarking on integrity test of structures abandoned or under construction and only eligible construction firms would be involved in building.

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