SON Expresses Worry over Rising Cases of Building Collapse

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By Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria(SON) has expressed worry over the threat posed by building collapse across the country as a result of quackery and non compliance with laid down rules in the building subsector.

This is so as the organisation also assured Nigerians of its determination and commitment towards putting measures in place to ensure that the rising cases of buildings collapse in the country becomes a thing of the past.

The Director General/Chief Executive of the organisation, Mr Osita Aboloma, who spoke recently at a one day North East general sensitisation workshop on building collapse in Bauchi with the theme “Curbing Incessant Building Collapse in Nigeria” observed that “in recent times, building collapse can be attributed to lack of adherence to standards, use of substandard materials and unqualified professionals. “

Aboloma therefore challenged all the relevant building regulating bodies to ensure constant and continuous education and professional development of its members towards reducing building collapse in the country, because according to him,the federal government is worried about incidents of building collapse in the country.

Represented by the Gombe state Regional Coordinator SON, Alhaji Umar Yakubu, the DG attributed major causes of building collapse in Nigeria to among others, the failure and lackluster effort of building contractors to pay strict adherence to quality building materials, non engagement of professionals and competent workforce as well as weak supervision of workmen.

According to him, the best way to manage building collapse in Nigeria is to prevent it by avoiding the use of quacks and non building professionals in any major building projects.

Mr Aboloma added that another way to avoid building collapse in Nigeria is to ensure that builders use the right cement specification for appropriate constructions types.

Others, according to him, are the engagement of right human resources in building and construction projects and deficient structural drawing as well as the type of soil which the building would be situated.

The DG revealed that incidences of building collapse in Nigeria had been on the increase recently and claiming many innocent lives, valuable properties, and huge investments.

Mr Osita Aboloma pointed out that, SON has mapped strategies that would sustain building planning scheme through effective rules and regulations to ensure safety of lives and properties for the socio economic development of the country.

In a good will message, the Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu, represented by Galadiman Bauchi, Surveyor Sa’eedu Jahun, said effective building regulation is a mechanism to protect rights to life and properties.

The traditional ruler who identified corruption as a major threat to building collapse, stressed the need for full compliance with the building industry construction standard and regulations in the country.

In an interview with newsmen shortly after the occasion,the State Coordinator of SON, Engineer Hauwa Husseini, reiterated the organisation’s commitment towards improving life through standardisation and quality assurance for the economic growth of the country.

She said the workshop became necessary because standardisation affects the economy of the nation positively.

According to her, the objective of the workshop include among others to sensitize and remind stakeholders in the building environment on the responsibilities and obligations to their profession and the general public to have a safe building environment.

Others are, to educate members of the public on the dangers of using substandard building materials, unqualified personnel and quacks.

She added that, the Standards organization of Nigeria will continue to implement the requirements of the relevant standard for building materials within the ambit of standardization to ensure that only certified materials are in circulation in the markets.

Highlight of the event include paper presentations and award of certificates to the participants.