Piqued by the seemingly government’s helplessness on tackling incidence of building collapses in Lagos, the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) has called for a proactive action against building failure in the country.
The group also urged a synergy with all relevant stakeholders in the built environment to address the menace.
Expressing sadness over the recurring incidence of building failure, the most recent being the partial collapse of a building at Glover Court, Ikoyi, Lagos which claimed a life, the Guild said it is no longer time for doing a literature review on collapsed buildings but to declare a state of emergency in the way and manner construction of buildings are carried out in Nigeria.
BCPG President, Mr. Akinola George, who spoke to media personnel in Lagos, said it is time to change gear because government seemed not ready to implement recommendations made at the Ita-Faaji building collapse Committee set up by the Lagos State government.
He stressed the need for a delineation of responsibilities among professionals and collaboration between people working in the Ministry and the consultants outside.
According to him, the moment those in the ministry people are supposed to be collecting salaries start pursuing fees ,there is no way they can supervise the work they have usurped properly, which will give room for compromise.
To stem the tide of building collapse, he said, the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) should be made a control agency and not a building approval agency , while a building code enforcement officials be set up in all the local councils and development areas in the state.
Also, Chairman, Lagos State branch of BCPG, Mr. Yinka Ogunseye, stressed the need for complete zero tolerance to building collapses in Lagos State, but wondered if government is ready to use their agency to achieve this.
According to him, government needs to come out fully and let the public know their blueprint on how to mitigate this ugly menace, while the use of registered professionals who are traceable should be enforced at all building developments.
He wondered why there was no record of professionals who carried out design, construction and supervision of the collapsed structure at Glover Court, Ikoyi, which failed the integrity test conducted by Solid Materials Testing Agency, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and the Ministry of Physical Planning.
He stressed that the Magodo Phase1 incidence where four persons lost their lives is an eyesore and there are other buildings within the area that are still susceptible to collapse as embankments surrounding them look weak.
“In the Magodo Phase 11, where there are 14 detached houses on suspicious existing embankment backing South east zone needs to be investigated by the agency of the Lagos State Government.
“ Within this zone, there is a deep gorge which the Lands department allocated to people but not yet developed which we believed will cause a disaster if not properly executed by professionals. He therefore, recommended that the lands should not be developed to avert future collapse and all allocations revoke to save lives.
Ogunseye also urged the Lagos State government to beam search light on construction around mudslide environment to save lives and property as well as monitor seriously the activities of emergency developers, to make their staff have prerequisite qualification to carry out building development to forestall activities of quacks.
While calling on government to be more proactive rather than reactive to issues by developing a blueprint on how to mitigate building collapse, he also urged the elimination of the untouchables syndromes and patronages in the operation of safety of lives and properties for the agencies to perform their official duties well.