More and more building collapses in recent years have made structural failures a major concern for those with vested interests in the construction sector and the general public. In response, the Executive Director of the University of Lagos Business School, Professor Michael Adebamowo, has proposed institutionalizing technologically-enabled, intensive monitoring of construction projects. He also proposed that quality assurance certifications be issued prior to moving on to further stages of a building when carrying out a project.
Prof. Adebamowo stated this at the 2023 yearly general meeting of the Building Collapse Prevention Guild in Lagos while delivering a lecture titled “The Political and Socio-cultural Dimensions of Building Collapse in Nigeria: Sustainable Pathways for Eradication.” As a preventative measure, he suggested that government agencies conduct audits of buildings and infrastructure like bridges to look for early indications of instability and intervene before a catastrophic event. Such audits should be made public for updates and comments.
Penalties should be imposed on violating building control standards.
He suggests that state governments adequately support agencies accountable for building regulations and engage skilled and experienced experts to enforce building code rules. Ensure that authorities are not being corrupted while conducting soil and material tests and that authorized designs are enforced after proper inspection. Prof. Adebamowo pointed out that although the National Building Code has been officially authorized for use by the federal government, the state governments have yet to legally inaugurate the enforcement officers in states as indicated in the National Building Code.
A punitive penalty should be imposed on any professionals or property owners found guilty of violating building control standards or engaging in unethical actions that might contribute to the collapse of structures. In addition to penalties, he suggested prison time, the revocation of a license to practice, and the seizure of any associated assets. Prof. Adebamowo highlighted a number of long-term solutions to the problem of building collapse. These included innovative prefabricated buildings, digital Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology, green smart systems, effective coordination of structural integrity tests, a more systematic public monitoring system, and creative collaboration between government and building industry experts.
CDAs are required to guarantee sustainable construction locally.
According to him, corruption in the industry is also a dominant problem to the high cost of building materials and the decline in the quality of construction work in emerging nations. This may occur at many points during the course of the project, whether before the contract is awarded, during the planning and design phase, during construction, or after the building is constructed. He emphasized the need for Community Development Associations (CDAs) to guarantee sustainable construction at the local level.
This, he said, may be accomplished by CDAs identifying structures in their communities that exhibit physical and structural faults and swiftly reporting them to the Lagos State Physical Planning and Development Authority. According to Eddy Atumonyogo, president of the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), more work has to be done to persuade governments to collaborate with BCPG in monitoring building activities to guarantee best practices. He was represented by the Vice President and the latest president-elect of the association at the national level Mr. Sulaimon Yusuf.
BCPG would concentrate on preventing building collapses.
Despite efforts, he said, 62 buildings was partly or completely collapsed in 2022, impacting 23 states countrywide, with Lagos State taking the lead with 20 occurrences. Mr. Yusuf said in his victory speech that BCPG would concentrate on preventing building and infrastructure collapses by investigating them. Yusuf said the national executive would engage with the government to domesticate and enforce the National Building Codes and promote building and construction best practices. BCPG will educate and retrain craftsmen in new building methods to improve their abilities.