By Henry Umoru
ABUJA— Disturbed by cases of building collapse in the country, the Senate yesterday promised to speed up the passage of the National Building Code.
It also promised put in place all necessary legal frameworks to ensure the problem was nipped in the bud.
Speaking while declaring open in Abuja a public hearing on the need to prosecute building laws’ violators yesterday, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, also promised that the Senate would ensure that it engaged in more aggressive oversight schemes to forestall the continued recurrence of the trend.
Saraki, however, identified corruption, non- compliance to building laws, use of unskilled artisans, poor supervision, inferior materials, ignorance, lack of maintenance, misuse of structures and conflicts among professionals as some of the factors responsible for building collapse in the country.
Represented by the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, Saraki said: “In our country, the principal causes of these collapses are non- compliance with 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 are directly connected to the exacerbation of this problem. It could also be said that the non-adherence to these 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.
‘’Other related challenges include the absence of planning of town sand cities, dearth of referenced design standards for professionals, use of non- professionals and quacks, use of untested products and materials and lack of maintenance culture.
“At a time our housing need is on the increase, we must maintain a modernized, efficient and user friendly statutory building control regime to meet the housing development needs of Nigerians.
Senate to engage MDAs on Made-in-Nigeria campaign
Also the National Assembly engages Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, in the on-going defence of 2017 Appropriation Bill, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said yesterday the National Assembly would emphasise why they should patronize locally-produced goods during implementation of the budget.
According to him, the action will assist in getting the country out of the current economic recession.
Speaking in Abuja when an American firm, Diamond Designs Ltd visited him, Saraki hailed the firm for keying into the buy Made-in-Nigeria initiative being championed by the Senate to stimulate the economy and create jobs.
He said: “At the moment, the budget process is on and we intend to use that opportunity to engage the MDAs to ensure that when they start implementation of the budget, they will make sure they patronize locally produced goods more than imported goods.”
According to him, the Senate will support all Nigerian based entrepreneurs in the Made in Nigeria project to see how the nation can create an enabling environment that will support the firm’s business to be able to create jobs for Nigerians to contribute to the growth of the economy.
“Let me commend the efforts you (Diamond Designs Limited) are making and the way you have taken this initiative and policy of ours in the Senate on the issue of made-in-Nigeria initiative.
“Living in America and having that belief in what we are doing here and now taking further steps to provide jobs for our people who ordinarily would be unemployed because there is no demand for this kind of work, is commendable.
“This is what we are talking about, that the Made-In-Nigeria initiative is likely to take us out of recession. The main aim of this is that we can produce for export and local consumption.”
Earlier, Managing Director of the company, Mary Francois, said following the Made-In-Nigeria initiative by the Senate, she decided to invest in Made-in-Aba by producing American designs with Nigerian fabrics for sale in the United States.
She said that the designs made from Nigerian fabrics have been overwhelmingly received by Americans.