To forestall increasing cases of building collapse in the country, the Senate has promised a speedy passage of all necessary legal frameworks on the revised National Building Code.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki gave the assurance, while declaring open the public hearing by the Senate Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Development on “The Need to Prosecute Building Laws Violators”.
The Upper Legislative Chamber according to Saraki, who was represented by the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, would also employ more aggressive oversight scheme.
He noted that the forum would help the legislature to “provide a platform to undertake a detailed and thorough investigation with the engagement of all the relevant stakeholders with a view of finding possible and lasting solution to these preventable housing disasters.
“Working together we will all rid our country of this menace, if not in its entirety but bring to the barest minimum the occurrence of these disasters and also very importantly purge the construction industry of all forms of unsafe and negligent acts in the construction processes”.
Lawan added that Nigerians had in recent times endured unacceptable incidences of building collapse, which have sadly claimed the lives of a number of our citizens, lamenting that “many cases of building collapses have been recorded with about many lives lost, yet very few people are held responsible”.
He, however said that cases of building collapses were not peculiar to Nigeria, but added that across the world building development practitioners are working hard to reduce these incidences to the barest minimum, saying “rate of occurrence and the intensity of damage are low in the advanced nations where strict controls, enforcement of the codes and high ethics of professionalism are made imperative.
“In our country, the principal causes of these collapses are non-compliance to the building laws, use of unskilled artisans, poor supervision, inferior materials, ignorance, lack of maintenance, misuse of structures, conflicts among professionals and corruption.
“The lack of enforcement of our building laws and flagrant violations is directly connected to the exacerbation of this problem. It could also be said that the non-adherence to this laws may also be linked to the other problems we see now with the constant infernos being recorded at market places across the country and other public places and other housing disasters.
Earlier, chairman of the committee, Senator Barnabas Gemade, stressed the need to prosecute building law violators in the country, saying that “the incessant building collapses in the country had given the government and Nigerians sleepless nights due to the huge loss of lives and property”.
Originally published in The Guardian