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International council urges building code implementation

Pressed to develop buildings that are healthy and structurally safe, the International Code Council (ICC) has urged government to put in place modalities that would promote smooth implementation of building codes in the country.

ICC President of International Code Council, Nigeria National Chapter, Dr. Maurice Ngwaba, who stated this at the opening of a three-day seminar organized by the Nigeria chapter for professionals in built sector, explained that enforcement of the already developed codes by federal authorities will help to control incidences of building collapses, mitigate risks and improve the health of the people.

ICC is a global not-for profit organization with Nigerian chapter and dedicated to health and safety through the building of resilient infrastructures, code compliance, promote awareness of building international codes, educating on code development and usage. Ngwaba noted that the Nigerian building code was first developed in 2006 but lamented that 12-years after, people are yet to use the code en-masse due to poor knowledge of its essence.

He said that government should come up with the framework and structure on how the code could be shared out to people and how professionals in building could use it for improvement of the built industry.

“Objective of code is to bring about better planning practices on how to develop buildings that are healthy and support the welfare of the people. It’s the function of government to make code become law as well as create the structures that would enforce the code. ICC only brings people to come and learn on how to effectively use the code and improve the quality of life of the people”.

According to him, the association is not a code making body for any country because countries are entitled to develop their codes adding that ICC is sets out to promote the use of codes especially those that would be developed by Nigerians for domestic use.

In his presentations, ICC director, Mr. Dave Walls told participants that the body has given directives on how to build in coastal areas should be designed. He stressed that the essence of codes was to address negative impacts of building stresses such as; earthquakes, fire, flood, drought and climate change.

He told the gathering that to enforce codes, there is the need to educate and train the people/professionals, certify them in building processes, train stakeholders on building inspection and laboratory test processes for building materials.Walls also said that codes must be developed through a governmental consensus process with tenets such as; openness, transparency, balance of interest and due process. Earlier, NIA President, Njoku Adibe stressed the need for ICC to strengthen collaboration with regulatory authority like the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and other local bodies.

Originally published in The Guardian

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