PH Building Collapse: NIOB Urges Prosecution Of Rogue Contractor

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L-R: Port Harcourt Area  Deputy Manager, Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), Mr Bola Odeniyi; Area Manager, PPMC, Mr Emmanuel Anam; Goc 82 Div. Enugu, Maj.-Gen. Adebayor Olaniyi and Commander, 2 Brigade, Port Harcourt, Brig.-Gen. Osasogie Uzamere, during inspection tour of JTF Operational Base at Gokana in Rivers State, on Wednesday.
L-R: Port Harcourt Area Deputy Manager, Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), Mr Bola Odeniyi; Area Manager, PPMC, Mr Emmanuel Anam; Goc 82 Div. Enugu, Maj.-Gen. Adebayor Olaniyi and Commander, 2 Brigade, Port Harcourt, Brig.-Gen. Osasogie Uzamere, during inspection tour of JTF Operational Base at Gokana in Rivers State, on Wednesday.

The Nigeria Institute of Building ( NIOB) has described last Wednesday’s building collapse  at Elelenwo- Akpajo road  as unfortunate and called on government to arrest and prosecute the contractor  handling  the said building.
The Chairman of Nigeria Institute of Building  (NIOB),Ikechukwu Ezeonu, who stated this while speaking to The Tide in an exclusive interview on Wednesday, said the institute would withdraw the certificate of the contractor, if he is a member of the institute.
Mr Ezeonu urged the government to investigate the cause of the building collapse, noting that it may not be far from compromised materials and cost of execution of project.
He noted that many projects are built without using professionals,adding that NIOB was required by law to execute  building project in the country.
He regretted that other professions undertake the work of NIOB which sometimes lead to unprofessional execution of projects.
“If the project is undertaken by a member of NIOB, the contractor would have to pay for the cost of the building and his certificate would be withdrawn’’, he said.
The Tide reports that there was panic  among the residents of the area on the  Akpajo-Elelenwo Road in the Obio/ Akpor Local Government area of Rivers State last Wednesday morning as an uncompleted  three-story building collapsed .
Although, the entire rear section of the  building  located at No 298,Akpajo Road, collapsed in a heap, there was no casualty as workers at the building site were said to have suspended work for some time.
The residents who  gathered outside the gate of the building were apprehensive as most of them expressed disappointment in the contractor, who they alleged, had been using sub-standard materials for the erection of the building.
The Tide learnt that the three storey building went down in a hail of dust and loud noise around 10 am after a downpour that lasted few hours  as it was learnt that the owner of the building was scared of going to the place while the contractor has been taking advantage of this to do a shoddy job for his employer.
“The building collapsed around 10am after the rain.
The owner of the building is a woman from Akwa Ibom State and it has been a long time since the she visited this place. I believe the engineer handling the job must have done a bad work because of the absence of the woman. Even a novice in building will know that the job was poorly done,” an eyewitness said.
The eyewitness, who identified himself as  a building expert, stated that the steel rods and other materials used in  constructing the building were of poor quality, pointing out that  the builders should have avoided using three-quarter iron bars, for the 5/8 iron bars which are the ideal materials  for storey buildings.
The Chairman of NIOB,Ezeonu, however, advised the state government and  town  planning  authorities to ensure they put in place stringent building laws that would be enforced to the letter. He further called for proper monitoring of the activities of quacks  in the country in order to put an end to cases of building collapse which have become a recurring problem in the country.