From Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has inaugurated a panel of inquiry to unravel the immediate and remote causes of a building that collapsed at Plot 711, Cadastral Zone B04, Jabi District, Abuja on August 17.

Bello, who was represented at the occasion by the Permanent Secretary, Chinyeaka Ohaa, charged the panel to unravel the causes of the unfortunate incident and stem future occurrence.

He said some officers directly in charge of monitoring the project site had been suspended pending the completion of investigations.

The panel which has three weeks to complete its assignment, is also charged with the responsibility of assessing the quality of the subsoil, foundations and designs that were available for the structure, establish the quality of supervision and nature of construction materials used as well as the experience of the technical personnel at the site.

The committee is also expected to assess the level of regulation at the site and recommend appropriate sanction against any person found wanting.

The committee is chaired by the Director General and Chief Executive officer of the Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute, Prof. Danladi S. Matawal.

It also has as members, retired Director of Engineering Services, FCDA, Engr. S. O Ugonabo; the MD, Fola Consult – a Planning Firm; S.A. Olajide, MD, 2-Habit Concept – Architectural Firm; and Arch Philip Z. Iortyer as members.

Also included in the panel are representatives of Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, (COREN), Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON), Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria (TOPREC) and Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), as well as the FCTA General Counsel, Barr. Mohammed Babangida Umar, among others.

Speaking after the inauguration ceremony, Chairman of the Panel, Prof. Matawal, stressed that the frequency of building collapse in Nigeria was unacceptable given the level of professionalism in the industry in the country.

He said the committee would also work with a vision for the future to ensure that occurrences of this nature which were very much avoidable would be addressed by its report.

Three persons died while six others sustained various degrees of injuries in the incident.