NIOB Wants Review Of Building Laws


The Nigeria Institute of Builders (NIOB), Rivers State Chapter, has called for review of the current principal laws guiding building.
Chairman, NIOB, Rivers chapter, Mr Moses Ugheoke, made this call Monday, in his office in Port Harcourt, in an interview with The Tide.
Ugheoke stated that professionals need to be infused into the current staffers at the Rivers State Ministry of Urban Development and Physical Planning.
According to him, “the urban development ministry can create an arm where professionals are recreated with a view to monitoring buildings and constructions”.
He noted that already, Lagos State and the FCT have put in place structures, where professionals are engaged to carry out monitoring of buildings, enforcement and compliance duties.
The NIOB boss said, “in Lagos and Abuja, if you take a drawing for approval, at the start  of the building, they come in to inspect the layout to confirm if what you have on ground was the same as what you have in your drawings. The Lagos Building Inspectorate comes in at different stages to ensure compliance”.
He continued, “it is a genuine way of raising revenue for the government, because all those visits and inspections are paid for by the developer; contravention fees are also paid if a builder is found not to be complying.
“With out a doubt, there is a cost element, when you weigh what you are going to lose in the event of failure of the building or collapse, it may be a hundred times more than what you will initially spend”, he emphasized.
He noted that some developers do not use professionals, because they have no clue as to whether the person who poses as a builder was a professional and they do not deem it fit to consult the professional body for confirmation.
Ugheoke added that in cases where the project owner is aware, he still would not want to employ professionals, “for the simple reason of cutting cost”.
He warned members who have the habit of employing non-professionals with a view to cutting cost to desist forthwith or face the consequences to losing their licence and being prosecuted in case of failure and warned quacks to stay clear of the building industry.

Tonye Nria-Dappa