The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) have decried the incessant building collapse in Imo and called for enforcement of standard in the building industry.
The two organisations expressed their concern over the incidents when the officials inspected the two-storey building around the Fire Service area on Mbaise Road, Owerri, which collapsed on Sunday.
The NSE and NIA called on the State Government to ensure conduct of integrity test on all buildings in the state suspected to be substandard in order to forestall future reoccurrence.
Five building collapsed in Owerri, the state capital, between July 7 and Aug. 13.
They are two high rise buildings under construction in Obinze and Umuguma both in Owerri West Local Government Area which collapsed on July 7 and July 8, respectively.
A storey building went down in Oforola area and killed three people on July 9 while a hotel under construction on Airport Road, Owerri North, equally collapsed the following day.
The Sunday’s building collapse claimed four lives while six others received various degrees of injures.
The state NSE Chairman, Mr Emeka Ugoanyawu, blamed the incessant collapse on use of quacks in the industry.
Ugoanyanwu also blamed the state regulatory agencies, including Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA), for failing to supervise contractors.
He urged Gov. Rochas Okorocha to summon emergency meeting of building professionals to address the matter, and called for adequate sanctions for failed contractors.
Also, the state Chairman of NIS, Mrs Ndidi Okoro, said that government had not lived up to its expectation of monitoring standard of buildings being erected in the state.
Okoro insisted that every contractor must indicate on a signpost, the clients of every building, to enable government to know who to hold responsible in case of failure.
She said a preliminary investigation showed that the building collapsed due to the use of substandard materials and engagement of non-professionals.
“We have lost so many lives in less than three months because contractors have continued to compromise standards and concerned agencies have failed to supervise them.
“We, as a group, will soon come out with a stand on this whole problem and we hope that government will implement our recommendations,” Okoro said.
The Secretary of Nigerian Institute of Builders in Imo, Mr Anddy Osuagwu, blamed regulatory agencies for the incidents.
Osuagwu urged government to employ more professional into the regulatory agencies to enable them to perform effectively.
“What we are suffering in the building industry today is as a result of quackery and until the problem is addressed, we will still be where we are,” she said.