Agencies of government charged with enforcement of standards, professionalism, regulations and discipline in the building sector were, on Thursday, ordered to ensure that no single incidence of building collapse is witnessed anywhere in the country under the current Federal Government’s housing programme.
It emphasised government’s insistence on zero tolerance for buildings collapse.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, gave the order in Abuja, while speaking at the sixth building and construction economic roundtable organised by Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria with the theme: “Professional Issues and Challenges in Building Collapse in Nigeria.”
He noted that agencies of government saddled with the responsibility of stemming the tide of collapsed building in the country should see the alarming incidences as an indictment on their parts for falling short of societal expectations in their respective statutory mandates.
Fashola, who was represented by the Director in charge of Building and Quantity Surveying Department in the ministry, Salma Yusuf Mohammed, warned that government had identified acts of commission and omission on the part of stakeholders as some of the causes for building collapses.
According to him, the current Federal Government was undertaking the most ambitious housing programme ever witnessed in the country and had already produced a national housing policy to guide the intervention of government in provision of housing in the country.
He stated that while the private sector would drive housing provision in the country, the intervention of government to protect the poor and vulnerable segment of the society was crucial.
The minister assured that the issue of unpleasant funding of some regulators in the housing sector was being addressed with a view to strengthening the agencies to effectively perform their professional regulatory and disciplinary roles in the industry.
He said: “Building collapses come with attendant huge financial losses, as well as loss of lives and property, including psychological and emotional traumas and physical injuries to the victims.
“Some of the tragedies of building collapses are self-inflicting arising from greed, negligence and profiteering tendencies of one or all the parties involved. Seldom do buildings collapse in Nigeria, because of external and accentuating seismic forces.
“Government recognises that regulation, professionalism and standards must be taken seriously if we must stem the ugly tide of collapsed buildings in Nigeria,” he said.
Earlier, the president of Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria (QSRBN), Mallam Husaini Dikko, lamented that five out of the seven professional bodies in the building industry had no budget line funding to carry out their statutory mandates which included activities to stem incidents of building collapse.
He said the board believed that the growing and embarrassing incidents of building collapse in the country could be attributed to the neglect and poor funding of the established government agencies, which he said, could halt the tide.
He said, “Government may have to recognised that Nigerian construction professionals have a role to play in stemming the tide of building collapses in Nigeria and challenge them to come up with the solutions.
“The absence of an enabling law for the enforcement of the national building code in states and the Federal Capital Territory is a source for concern.”