SON Harps on Collaboration to End Building Collapse

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Jonathan Eze
Effective collaboration among regulators, professional associations, consumer advocates, the mass media and other interested parties and stakeholders in the building and construction sector is the solution to incessant collapse of buildings and structures in Nigeria.

This was the highlight of a paper presented by the Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Osita Aboloma, at the 2018 Builders Congress organised by the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON).

Titled “Standardising Materials, Products and Processes,” the paper enumerated the availability of national standards for virtually all materials in the built sector and urged professionals to adhere to them strictly, in the interest of the nation and its people.

Represented by the Head of Construction Management, SON, Paul Oke, the Director General, disclosed that SON was in the process of retooling the National Standardisation and Quality Assurance Committee for the Building and Construction Industry in conjunction with relevant stakeholders to address issues relating to standards development, review, adoption, implementation and enforcement.

He enumerated efforts of SON in tackling the circulation of sub-standard products through the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) and offshore Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) for locally manufactured and imported products respectively.

Aboloma reminded the gathering that the SON Act of 2015 has empowered the organisation to seize sub-standard products and prosecute culprits who engage in production or sale of such products inclusive of building materials.

Delivering a keynote address at the occasion, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana, urged professionals in the building and construction industry to the take optimum advantage of the Presidential Executive Order 5 on planning and execution of projects to expose and prosecute quacks in the system.

Falana offered his legal team to the CORBON in collaboration with other stakeholders to come up with an all-encompassing legislation to regulate practice in the built environment.
The Chairman of CORBON, Professor Kabir Bala, stated that the recurring menace of building and structural collapse in Nigeria necessitated the theme of the congress “Standardisation and Innovative Technologies for Sustainable Development in Nigeria’s Construction Industry”.

The CORBON awards of excellence in recognition of contributions to the building profession and 2018 Builders Congress was conferred on notable personalities including, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; his Minister of State, Surveyor Suleiman Hassan Zarma; Aboloma and Falana.

Others included Prof. Olumide Olasanya of Julius Berger Nig. Plc, Prof. Danladi Matawal, Director General, Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute.
The 3-day event had in attendance professionals from the building industry such as, architects, land and quantity surveyors, civil, structural, mechanical and electrical engineers, builders amongst other professionals in the built sector.