The Lagos State Government has disclosed that it would begin enforcement of material testing at construction sites, to achieve its vision of zero tolerance for building collapse in the state.
The Acting General Manager, Lagos State Materials and Testing Laboratory (LSML), Mr Olalekan Ajani disclosed this in an interview with newsmen recently in Lagos.
Ajani said the agency was passionate about forestalling incidences of building collapses, adding that the Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration had empowered the agency with increased workforce across all local governments and local council development areas.
“Lagos State is stepping up operation in construction sites to see that builders comply with the quality assurance of the state to forestall cases of building collapse.
“We want to ensure a zero incidence of building collapse through regular visits to the construction sites; this is the only way to save lives in conformity with the state’s extant laws.
“Our officers are now recruited in all local governments, working and checking all the sites for compliance and enforcement; that is what we are stepping up now.
“LSML officers are mandated to visit construction sites frequently now to ensure that builders have quality assurance certificate; and if anyone is found wanting, the site will be shut down, he said.
Ajani said that even completed structures would not be spared from supervision and quality control, as they would also undergo non-destructive tests.
“Even already built houses especially the commercial buildings in Lagos will also undergo a non-destructive test, while subsequent materials for use will be tested.
“For buildings already erected, we will be asking if they have carried out non-destructive test and issue them certificates, however, they do not need to destroy their buildings in the process.
“The non-destructive test is conducted with the state-of-the art scientific equipment; we are only interested in knowing the condition of the house, maybe for reconstruction, rehabilitation or rather reinforcement or re-engineering.
“Ours is to see to the quality of the materials used in building houses, we have other professionals such as technicians, geo-technical engineers, such as soil engineers, surveyors, planners, material engineers, quantity surveyors, and others, he said.
Ajani warned the contractors against cutting corners; adding that the process of getting the certification for their building permit was not expensive as envisaged, rather it was designed to save lives.
The Acting General Manager also called for collaboration of professionals to eliminate quackery and corruption in the building sector.
“All the professionals working with us are driving towards one aim, which is safe delivery of projects, and if citizens can engage them, it will bring to fore the integrity of such structure.
“Some people think it is expensive, but is always cheaper to save lives. So we encourage the developers to always ensure that they do not bypass process.
“Builders must ensure that they engage the professionals for approval, and be certain about integrity of the site to ensure that such construction did not contravene either the state law or natural law.
“There should also be a quality design before construction can be embarked upon and also due supervision because some artisans like to cut corners by using substandard products.
“Contractors should also ensure that they get the right people for supervision, and the materials needed for construction. Everything must be checked right from water to reinforcements for quality control and assurance, he said.