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FG reviews national building code to check incessant building collapse

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By CALEB AYANSINA

…charges states on domestication
The Federal Government has validated the revised National Building Code to deal with the perennial problems in the human settlements sector.

In 2006, Nigeria came up with the National Building Code to regulate the conduct and operations of professionals and stakeholders in the construction industry. The guideline, passed by the National Assembly NASS, was to be reviewed after three years.

Vanguard Homes & Property gathered that the code to be presented to the Federal Executive Council, FEC for approval, needs to be domesticated by all the 36 states of the federation for effective enforcement.

In the review, the headship of the building code enforcement division is now limited to registered architects, builders, structural, mechanical or electrical engineers, unlike in the old code, when it was open to all the registered professionals. Also, the government, after the horrible flood experienced in some parts of the country, provided some specifications and guidelines to ensure safety of residents.

one of the buildings that collapsed in Lagos last few months
one of the buildings that collapsed in Lagos last few months

Some facilities like foam plastic insulation, garage (private), gas cabinet, gas room that were not specified in the old code are well spelt out in the review to be chiefly considered by the inspection team, who are now empowered to determine if any material or its chemical components are hazardous, thereby preventing its usage. Temporary structure which was pegged at 60 days is now being extended to 180 days.

Speaking at the Stakeholders’ Validation Workshop on the Revised National Building Code in Abuja last week, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Amal Pepple, said the code provides sanctions for any unethical behaviour in the sector.

She noted that the government would take the enforcement of the code seriously, charging the states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT to ensure its domestication. Her words: “I am optimistic that after this validation exercise, the adoption of the revised national building code and its dissemination to the public, as well as its effective implementation by all relevant stakeholders, our nation will be greatly assisted in dealing with some of the perennial problems in the human settlements sector”.

“These include intermittent, but deadly fire hazards, rising occurrences of building collapse, rampant use of substandard materials in building construction, new wave of flooding, endemic and improper housing maintenance as well as unhealthy construction practices which impact negatively on eco-balance and eco-friendliness.

“By serving as a model mechanism for regulating the activities in the building and construction industry through the provision of guidelines and sanctions, the revised code will also be of tremendous assistance in stemming professional negligence, sharp practices and other forms of unethical behavior in the sector,” she said.

“The state governments must lead the drive to institutionalise it through adaptation, legislation and enforcement. It is in this regard that I fervently hope that the 36 states of the federation and Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA will ensure that the national building code is adapted and adopted by the executive arm of government, as a regulatory tool in their spheres of influence, and enacted by their respective legislatures, as part of their jurisdictional code after it has undergone the formal process of approval by the highest level of government”.

The Chairman, National Building Code Advisory Committee, Arc. Jimoh Faworaja said the consequences of an ineffective and non-operational national building code in social and economic terms are so monumental for any sane society to ignore.

“The review has therefore addressed lapses noticed in the first edition with structural re-alignment and in-depth additional inputs to adequately take care of our peculiar national challenges as they relate to the built environment”, Faworaja noted.

He therefore called for a collective effort to ensure the implementation of this document as a way of arresting the national embarrassment occasioned by the increasing cases of the built environment failures and the near dominance and takeover of the industry by quacks.

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