says dark days of impunity ‘re gone
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday harped on the strict compliance to quality standards in building construction, warning that those who cut corners that resulted in building collapse in the country would face the full wrath of the law.
President Buhari gave the warning while receiving the leadership of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said that the recent building collapse in the country demands urgent adherence to quality standards.
According to him, He said “The recent tragic incident in Lagos and many others across the country, reminds us of the need to strictly adhere to quality standards when it comes to construction projects.
“Young innocent lives must never be lost due to incompetence and greed. Simply put, no corners must be cut.
“l want to assure you that those responsible for such incidents of professional negligence will feel the full wrath of the law.”
He said that he was committed to the Change Agenda, adding that the dark days of impunity were gone for good.
He said, “As a Government, we remain focused and committed to ensuring we create an inclusive and diversified economy. This simply means National growth must impact the silent majority.
“This is why in the past three years, we focused on key job creating sectors such as Agriculture and Infrastructure Development.
“You will all recall that our Agriculture and Infrastructure programs contributed to our exit from the recession. This is a clear example of how, if we push “inclusive” job creating policies, growth will follow.
“We will remain committed to these, and other programs, to ensure the success of our nation is felt by the majority of Nigerians.
“With our significant infrastructure deficit, your sector has the potential and the bandwidth to create impactful jobs across the country. Both urban and rural areas.”
President Buhari urged them to make formal submission to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing as soon as possible.
He said, “Like you mentioned in your remarks, many of your members are currently working in Government and I am confident we can commence these reforms within the shortest possible time.”
The President of NIQS, Obafemi Onashile congratulated the President on his re-election and prayed for his good health, the grace and the strength to achieve his good intensions and aspiration for the nation and to deliver the dividends of democracy to the citizenry.
He said, “Your re-election is indeed a confirmation of the support for your policies on anti corruption, rule of law, transparency which are magnified in your TSA (Treasury Single Account) Policy which all past administrations shied away from as well as your Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
“Your Excellency, you can count on the NIQS to further push these programmes and much more on your behalf as they are sincere and meaningful for our Country.”
“Your Excellency Sir, we are here on a visit, not to only felicitate with you but to express our total confidence in your administration and leadership direction, which have brought hope, progress and stability to our Nation.”
Continuing, he said “It is obvious that your government is listening government that is committed to improving the plights of the Nigerian citizens. Your recently signed Executive Orders No.5 and No.7 aptly exhibit a government interested in professional handling of governance. Your open war on corruption is also a testimony of sincerity of purpose and transparency of your government.”
He said that construction projects were usually high capital intensive and could be a readymade platform for large scale corruption in any economy if not professionally manage with requisite discipline.
He stated that the Construction Industry was the second industry potentials for greatest impact on the National Economy of any nation.
He explained that construction Industry, plays a very pivotal role in infrastructure delivery, massive employment, domestic manufacturing, through many cottage industries for producing glass, ceramics, iron billets and rods, aluminum sheets and profiles, paints, plywood and timber profiles that can be consumed locally and even exported to other neighbouring countries to earn foreign exchange.
“With a booming Construction Industry, other construction resources such as construction plants and vehicles will become locally assembled/made and thereby oiling the national economy for exponential performance.”
On the importance of having a booming Construction industry, he said, “This is why on behalf of the Construction Industry; our Institute is calling attention of the Federal Government to areas where the industry can be freed of shackles holding its performance down.
“These shackles we shall enumerate as follows:- Unclear delineation of Professional functions amongst construction professions within the Government. There is an urgent need to create a Directorate of Quantity Surveying and Project Costs Management, just like we have Directorates of Civil Engineering as well as Housing.”
He said that the Quantity Surveyors should be mandated and allowed to undertake Cost Management of projects of all forms on behalf of Government.
He said that Engineers should be compelled to focus and deliver on designs and implementations of Projects and leave costing and Cost Control to the Quantity Surveyors.
“The acknowledgement that projects are now more complicated and complex thus the need for and recognition of the services of Professional Project Managers on large government projects in order to stem project failures.
“Quantity Surveyors have in the recent years improved on our proficiencies and we do now possess relevant capacity to manage any size of projects together with the retinue of any combination of project teams.
“Even where projects are being donated to the government or being designed abroad and built by multinationals, Quantity Surveyors should be considered for appointments as Project Managers to act for the government.”