By Naomi Uzor
The Nigerian Society of Engineers NSE, has called for stiffer penalties on owners of collapsed buildings and the project handlers in the country, especially where loss of lives is involved.
Disclosing this at the August breakfast meeting of the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce NACC, themed “Building Collapse and the Need for Re-Certification”, the President, NSE, Engr. Adekunle Mokolo, said stiffer penalties will serve as a deterrent to the practices of carefree developers in the country.
“The menace and havoc that collapsed buildings have caused in our society cannot be over emphasized. The rate at which promising lives and our country future hopes are being cut short due to our collective negligence and lack of care is so worrisome that one begins to imagine if any meaningful value is attached to human lives” he said.
Mokolo who was represented by Mr. Olusoji Olagunju, noted that building collapse in Nigeria has become a regular occurrence, every occurrence results in casualties, fatalities, material loss, financial wastages and severe property damage.
“Buildings are expected to have certain features that make them attractive for many uses. This may be residential, commercial, institutional, educational, and industrial to meet people’s purpose of needs” he stated.
He said it is high time governments at various levels begin to enforce building regulations and necessary legislations, build their staff capability by equipping building approval and control agencies with the experienced professionals and ensure that only structural drawings prepared and endorsed by registered structural engineers are approved for construction.
The President of NACC, Otunba Oluwatoyin Akomolafe, said the rate of building collapse in the country has become so disturbing that various accusations and counter accusations are the order of the day.
Akomolafe who was represented by the Vice president of NACC, Mr. Ehi Braimah said the major issue is the building owners, who always look for the cheapest ways of building even before formal approval.