Nigerian Institute of Building, through its President, Mr Kunle Awobodu, has called on developers to engage professional builders to manage building processes.
He is also seeking prosecution of those found culpable in a recent collapse of a seven- storey building in Owerri, Imo State, to serve as a deterrent to others.
The collapse of the high-rise building under construction, Awobodu said, again brought to the front burner the problem of building management in Nigeria.
According to him, investigation and prosecution of those culpable should not be delayed. Justice delayed is justice denied,” he said.
Awobodu said that investigations conducted on many collapsed buildings in Nigeria had revealed that inappropriate management of houses under construction had been the major cause.
Speaking to New Telegraph in Lagos on Sunday, Awobodu said: “On the latest collapsed building in Owerri, those who caused the wanton destruction of property and loss of lives should be prosecuted in order to deter quackery and negligence on building sites in Nigeria.
While sympathising with families of people who lost their loved ones in the tragedy, he solicited further cooperation and collaboration amongst built environment professional bodies and other relevant government agencies or organisations to bring to an end the menace of building collapse.
The building collapsed along Musa Yar’ Adua Drive, New Owerri, Imo State last month.
Awobodu recalled that at a rally on the Builders’ Day in March, the General Manager of Owerri Capital Development Authority, Mr. Innocent Ikpamezie, an engineer, had addressed NIOB members, promising to prevent reoccurrence of building collapse in the state by ensuring that prospective developers engage professional builders to manage building processes on their sites.
“Watching that video again, one would wonder if the good intention of the general manager of OCDA had been actualised earlier, perhaps the collapse of the 7- storey building under construction on Musa Yar’ Adua Road could have been averted,” he said.
He noted that quacks or impostors, who lacked professional competence, had succeeded in superintending over the very technical and complex process of building projects.
The Owerri building collapse, he said was a clarion call to all ministries charged with physical planning and urban development in Nigeria to extend their strict assessment and vetting of building projects beyond building plan approval.
He added that building plans and design documents were, to all intents and purposes, just in the design and preconstruction stage of building projects.
He urged ministries and agencies responsible for physical planning and urban development to devote greater attention to the practical stage, which is the actual building construction.
He added that any company or those that would handle construction of a building should be thoroughly investigated to ensure that round pegs are inserted in round holes.
He said: “The sensitive building production processes should be managed by the professional builder, who by his or her training and hippocratic oath will not compromise on standards or competence.
“It really boggles the mind why building collapse has become a recurring decimal in a nation endowed with many trained and licensed professional builders, whose statutory responsibility is to technically manage building production on site to a successful delivery.”
According to him, the delicate process of transforming the architectural, structural and services designs and drawings requires expertise that professional builders possess.