Pressed by the need to overcome the menace of building collapse and restore the glory of the built environment profession, the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) has called for strict enforcement of standards in the construction sector.
President of the association, Kunle Awobodu who gave the charge during his valedictory speech at the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the organisation in Lagos, said “in an organized society where citizens naturally obey the laws that govern their conduct, building collapse is seen as an aberration but in a society where the simplest evidence of a disregard to law despite provision for specifications, there is a need for concern.”
He observed that some builders rarely obey the law that provides minimal airspace between the building and the fence. “What is observed in many places is at conflict with the specification thus gives an inkling and a deduction that the person, who supreintended over the construction of such buildings must have disobeyed many other specifications in the building construction process.
He said, “A person that cheats on the recommended setbacks is aware that he or she has created problems of insufficient ventilation, lighting, parking space, privacy and protection from fire incident in the adjoining or neighbouring building”.
According to him, one of the unique achievements of BCPG is that it has succeeded in dousing the unhealthy rivalries, bickering and discrimination among the Nigerian built environment professionals and created a platform where various construction professionals have learnt to work through the BCPG cell/grass root model.
Awobodu emphasized that BCPG’s collaboration with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Lagos State Safety Commission and other bodies should be strengthened as the main objective of the Guild is not for immediate pecuniary gains but for the promotion of standard construction in Nigeria to save lives.
In his keynote address, the Commissioner, Ministry Of Physical Planning And Urban Development-, Lagos State, Anifowoshe, Wasiu Abiola assured the association that government is ready to provide necessary assistance in tandem with the constructive engagement and high point of planning inclusion as enshrined in good Urban Governance of the State.
“The state places high premium on the collaboration of regulatory authorities with other Stakeholders. To this end, it welcomes suggestions, brilliant ideas, technical and professional advice toward curbing the incidence of collapse in Lagos State”, he stated.
The Director-General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Hakeem Dickson, said some professionals are obviously cutting corners with the use of substandard products. “This is highly unacceptable and must be nipped in the bud”, he said.
For the Chairman, Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), Lagos State Chapter, Wasiu Akewusola, government stands to benefit more in tapping on the abundant experts in all professional areas from the areas of policy formulation, development of strategies to implementation of policies and programmes of the government.
Originally published in The Guardian