By Emmanuel Elebeke
The federal government yesterday inaugurated an inter-ministerial committee to investigate the causes of building collapse in the country with a view to arresting it.
Inaugurating the committee, the minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said the Federal Government was deeply concerned about the incessant cases of building collapse in the country and its attendant implications.
Recalling many painful stories of building collapse across the country, the minister said the administration would do everything humanly possible to stop building collapse because of its toll on human life.
According to him “The recent building collapse in Lagos was one that shocked the nation, where children in classroom died in such an unfortunate incident. No parent ever wishes to have the dead body of his or her children, adding that the government is taking necessary steps to find a permanent solution to this recurring disaster. We read the painful story where a woman lost two kids she had after painful circumstances and decided to take her life.
“Though we can’t stop it overnight, we will stop at nothing to finding a permanent solution to this scourge by working together with government at all levels.”
He commended the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute, an agency of the Ministry for its research and investigation which has helped to reduce the cases of collapsed buildings in the country.
The minister challenged the committee to put the interest of the nation first in its assignment.
The committee is made up of representatives of all regulatory agencies in the management of construction industries. The committee has two weeks to submit its report.
In his responds, the chairman of the committee and the Acting Director-General/CEO of NBRRI, Prof. Samson Duna, expressed dissatisfaction with the impact of building collapse which he said had affected entire human fabrics, causing psychological trauma, loss of lives and properties, loss of government revenue, with victims being rendered homeless apart from suffering permanent disabilities
He said, “Most of the building collapsed has been linked to man-made mistakes which can be avoided and eradicated completely. There is an urgent need to stop this ugly trend by investigating the root causes of the problems and make an appropriate recommendation.”
Prof. Duna, who commended the minister for impacting positively in the areas of Research and Development, particularly, as it concerns Science, Innovation and Technology, promised on behalf of the committee to get to the root causes of the problems and proffer practical and implementable solutions that will go a long way to forestall future occurrence.