The Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) has advised Lagos State Government to secure all identified distressed buildings to prevent people renting or leasing them for habitation.
The President of BCPG, Mr George Akinola, made the call while speaking with newsmen in Lagos.
Akinola said that without proper security of distressed buildings, people would continue to live in them and become casualties in the event of collapse.
According to him, more than 1,000 buildings in Lagos State have been identified as distressed and marked for demolition by the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA).
The Tide reports that eight people were injured on Sunday when a distressed storey building, already marked for demolition, collapsed in Lagos State.
The distressed building was located at No 35, Adesanya Street, off Ayoni Bus stop in the Mafoluku area of Oshodi.
The collapsed building was undergoing illegal renovation by the owner after it had been abandoned for about seven years.
Akinola said that the collapse of the building was as a result of negligence on the part of the building monitoring agency.
He said the building monitoring agency should have sealed or demolished the building since it had been identified as distressed and marked for demolition, thereby preventing people from living in it.
“Since it has been observed that most of the buildings that collapse are distressed ones, it becomes pertinent that the government puts security at all identified distressed buildings to prevent people from inhabiting them.
“To demolish building requires scientific procedures and lots of resources. The government may not have the resources to demolish all distressed buildings at once, but let the buildings be properly secured against people entering them, so that if they collapse, no casualty or death will be recorded,’’ Akinola said.
He appealed to Lagos residents to report cases of abandoned and substandard buildings to the regulatory/monitoring agencies.
“Residents have vital roles to play in curbing building collapse; they are in a better position to detect early, illegal, abandoned and substandard constructions.
“LASBCA and other building regulatory authorities alone cannot properly monitor to detect when buildings are defective or when illegal constructions are going on, without the support of residents.
“It is the residents who are in better position to detect abandoned and substandard buildings in their areas.
“It requires collective efforts to end building collapse; residents need to contribute their quotas,’’ he added.
Construction Safety: Builders Seek New Procurement Standards
With the conclusion of its annual conference, the Nigerian Institute of Builders (NIOB) has sought for new procurement standards.
The conference which held in Port Harcourt focused on: Health, Safety, Enforcement and Professionalism for Sustainable Development” with experts in the built industry proffering solutions to the challenges facing the sector.
President of the NIOB, Kenneth Nduka while discussing the focus of the conference stressed that the enforcement of procurement laws will help infuse security and safety standards.
In an era where quacks have infiltrated the built sector, Nduka opined that procurement will check the problem of corruption , compromise of standards and the use of sub- standard products for construction.
“For us, safety and security should be a way of life fo every builder. We must embrace it as a routine”, Nduka said.
While speaking on the topic: Appraisal of Health, Safety Practices of Small and Medium Construction Sites”, Dr. Muyiwa Abubakar, a lecturer in Building Department, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University disclosed that 60 percent of fatalities in construction sites come from buildings.
Abubakar stated that safety is pertinent so as to meet target time since construction is characterised with risks and hazards.
The lecturer harped on safety management practices that would be driven by training , competence and enforcement.
On his part, Dr Chris Igwe suggested that quality must not be compromised to ensure safety.
For him, enforcement of standards leads to adoption of safety and security at construction sites.
‘Industrialisation, Key To Achieving Local Content In Housing’
A member of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Mr Benson Ngbede, says industrialisation is key to achieving local content inputs in providing affordable housing for citizens.
Ngbede told newsmen recently in Abuja that building houses would be cheaper when the country is able to develop its industries and locally produce materials that were currently imported.
“Most resources required to build houses are locally available in their raw state. Establishing industries that will turn these raw materials into finished products for builders will ensure affordable houses for citizens.
“Government needs to put in place what is needed for developers to provide houses at relatively affordable prices; that entails availability of land and infrastructure.
“We also need to look inward. We need to develop our industries. We need to be more industrialised to help us develop local content. “If we can do that, one bedroom house can go for 1million naira, 2 bedroom for about 1.5 million, while a 3 bedroom house can be sold for N3 million, since the materials are sourced at home
“To achieve this, institutions like NIBRRI must be properly funded and supported to carry out researches that will help develop materials needed to build houses.
“We have a place like Ajaokuta which can supply iron to the entire African continent, but it is lying there idle nd not working, forcing us to import metals from other places in the world, and at a high cost,” Ngbede lamented.
He also urged government to provide infrastructure, drainage, roads and other facilities necessary for real estate developers so as to ensure a consequence reduction in the cost of houses.
Housing Deficit: NGO To Invest $180m In Five Years
Shelter Afrique, an NGO, is to invest 180 million dollars in five years toward addressing Nigeria’s housing deficit, Mr Andrew Chimphondah, its Managing Director, said yesterday in Abuja.
Chimphondah said that the investment period would span from 2019 to 2024.
He said that Nigeria was a strategic market for Shelter Afrique, adding that the outfit’s shareholders included 44 African countries and two financial institutions.
According to him, Shelter Afrique provides loans, grants and credits for the development of the environment and the provision of houses for Africans.
Chimphondah said that Nigeria had 70 to 20 million estimated housing shortage.
“We are looking at the demand and supply side of housing. For the supply side, we will enter into Public-Private-Partnership with government with government providing land and subsidised infrastructure.
“Our organisation will provide the funding and expertise to carry out the project.
“We will commit and dedicate all the expertise to ensure that quality houses are delivered; we will also ensure that the houses are energy efficient, environmental friendly and comfortable,” he added.
Chimphondah said that most financial institutions had often complained of funding, but assured Nigerians that the NGO would fashion out a way to reduce the cost of the houses.
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