Alhaji Fasasi Muhammed-Jamiu, the National President, Builders and Construction Skilled Artisans Association of Nigeria (BACSAAN) has urged governments to engage and empower the association in the fight against building collapses in the country.
Muhammed-Jamiu said that this would greatly reverse the spate of building collapse mostly associated with poor construction.
He made the call in Abuja on Saturday in an interview with newsmen.
NAN reports that the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) and Nigeria Institute of Builders (NIOB) and other professional bodies work with government agencies in monitoring standard of buildings across the country.
He was speaking against the backdrop of collapsed buildings in Lagos and Ibadan on Wednesday and Friday.
According to him, existing regulatory bodies at different levels of governments are trying but don’t have the wherewithal to make much effective impact across the length and breadth of the country.
“Building collapses in Nigeria can be avoided if pre-adequate measures are taken by all key players in the sector.
“There are construction monitoring agencies in the country, but the ability to know where poor jobs are being done and true status of buildings lay with the artisans that work on them.
” Governments, especially, at the federal level have invited us for several meetings, its high time we were involved in the regulatory exercise.
“Our inclusion will complement efforts of the existing operators because we take part from the beginning to the end of each construction.
“It goes beyond academic brilliance to truly reveal the true status of completed buildings and those under construction.
“The major work in building construction is practical and use of energy which our members are ready to give but many building owners or governments are yet to engage us in that regards.
“Artisans have the firsthand experience required to detect the true status of the buildings and how to remediate construction defects,” he said.
On why some of his members were involved in erecting substandard structures, the association president said it was often due to survival need.
“Many building owners and investors influence artisans to use inferior materials in the construction of buildings to minimise cost.
“Governments also in their bid to minimise the cost of building at all levels and reduce housing deficiency keep patronising middlemen instead of organised artisans for building projects.
“These middlemen or contractors most times underpay the artisans which make the job unprofitable and force them either to use substandard materials or quit the job.
“But I am appealing to the government at all levels to work with BACSAAN in their bid to stem the tide of building collapse in the country.
“Despite various regulatory agencies today, collapsed buildings claim more casualties than insurgency while same artisans built houses that are still standing 30 years, 40 years and more, without supervision.
“Our association has a large membership in nooks and crannies of the country; we are ready to contribute our quota for the restoration of the glory of the sector,” he said.
Muhammed-Jamiu added that governments and other investors in the housing sector should ensure that approved training got to target beneficiaries at all times.
He commiserated with families of the deceased while pleading with governments to act and be more aggressive in stemming building collapse.
“With adequate, policy backing, training on designs and use of technology, Nigerian artisans and builders can lead the continent in the provision of quality houses.
“I commiserate with families of the bereaved, may Allah console them,” he said.
NAN reports that recent building collapse in Lagos recorded many casualties mostly children, while Ibadan incident involved construction workers on the project.
In Lagos State, existing regulatory bodies have marked some buildings for demolition in different areas considered to be deficient in the standard.(NAN)