FCTA to Overhaul Key Dept over Collapsed Building

Musa Bello

From Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

The FCT Administration has announced it would overhaul the Department of Development Control after a panel set up over a building that collapsed and killed three persons in Jabi, Abuja on August 17, submitted its report.

FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello, announced Wednesday, when he received the panel report that the decision to overhaul the Department of Development Control, was to strengthen its institutional framework, to enable it cope with the ever increasing growth in building activities in the FCT .

The Panel of Inquiry into the Jabi collapsed building was chaired by Prof Danladi Matawal.

Bello averred that decentralising the Department would put it in a vantage position to keep pace with the ever changing profile of the territory, improve service delivery and give developers value for money.

He assured that the recommendations contained in the panel’s report will be implemented in order to stem the rampant incidents of collapsed buildings in the FCT in particular and Nigeria in general.

“Regardless, the Administration is concerned that with the calibre, number and mix of professionals in the building industry in Abuja and indeed Nigeria, the incidents of collapsed buildings can be curtailed to the barest minimum in the country in general and the FCT in particular,” Bello stressed.

While presenting the report, the chairman of the panel, who is the DG of the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute, called for an investigation of a design and development racketeering group in FCTA, saying it should be used to detect quackery and forging of signatures.

He recommended massive injection of staff in the FCTA Department of Development Control by recruiting engineers, architects in addition to the use of qualified FCDA pool of field officers to forestall cases of collapsed buildings.

“This should be eliminated and we are recommending a biometric report of designers so that nobody is going to deny anything that he didn’t do well. Building inspection site meetings chaired by site officers should be instituted and well qualified engineers or architects should be used as site officers.

“Monthly regular site meetings by developer teams should be instituted and this should always be witnessed by Department of Development Control.

“All revalidation process for abandoned sites should be done and a management approach should be used and this should be incorporated for implementation process”, Mutawal said.