Building collapse: Engage qualified engineers experts warn

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By Oluwaseun Sonde

The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has urged Nigerians to engage the services of qualified building engineers. The group made this call following the recent building collapse that happened on Lagos Island and Oyo State.

The society said employing the services of good engineers is necessary for investments and the protection of lives Wales Lagunju, the chief examination officer of NSE Ibadan branch, has appealed to Nigerians to engage the services of qualified structural engineers, in order to protect and secure their investments.

Lagunju, who spoke with newsmen in Ibadan, was reacting to the rising spate of building collapse in the country; and the recent one that happened in Lagos state.

“It is not only the loss of life that is the consequence, but also the loss of your life savings. “Building collapse is a major setback to anyone and community because you spend so much money and time to build a property only to end up losing it,’’ he said.

The engineer said it was imperative to engage the services of certified engineers “because quacks will not bother about details before starting”.

“We have been making efforts to enlighten the public about the dangers of giving their projects to quacks, particularly when it comes to structural design. Structural design is not an all-comer thing; the industry is meant to be regulated in such a way that only those who are trained and equipped to provide this service should be the ones in charge.

“If you are not a structural engineer, what business do you have with building structures just to endanger the lives of people?” Lagunju said. The expert further said clients often contributed to building collapse in Nigeria because they preferred to cut corners and spend less, rather than engage the services of professionals.

He said, “Someone who is not a trained structural engineer will not bother with soil investigation that will guide in designing the foundation.” It will be recalled that a four-storey building near Massey Children Hospital, in Itafaaji Area of Lagos, had collapsed on Wednesday morning while pupils were having classes on the third floor.

Our correspondent who was at the scene of the accident reports that the building went down at about 10 a.m.

Some of the residents of the area said that the building was earlier marked for demolition before it was renovated. Rescue operations by emergency responders are still ongoing as at the time of filing this report.

Also, President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the incident saying he was extremely saddened by the collapse of the building housing a school in Itafaaji area of Lagos, which left fatalities, particularly, school children.

It was reported that Buhari made his feelings known in a press statement released by Femi Adesina, the presidential spokesman, in Abuja.

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