A call has gone to professionals in the real estate sector to do everything to minimise the rate at which buildings collapse in Nigeria. This comes as Nigerians continue to lose fortunes to building collapse due to poor adherence to rules guiding the industry.
The Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who threw the challenge, charged the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) at the council’s 15th induction ceremony, held in Abuja urged the council to end incessant building collapse in the country.
Fashola who described the situation as embarrassing revealed that the council was vested with the mandate to determine the standard of knowledge and skills necessary for anybody to practice.
He said CORBON should be responsible to regulate and control the practice of the building profession in the country, adding that, “there is no doubt that the Nigerian construction industry has grown in size and complexity, and indeed recorded giant strides in national development. However, it is sad to note that cases of shoddy works and defective buildings still traverse the landscape, and this has become a plague agitating the minds of Nigerians.”
Fashola said, “in worst case scenarios, these have led to the collapse of buildings, loss of lives and investments. It must be admitted that building collapse is not limited to Nigeria or the developing economies, but the scope and frequency of the menace in our country has reached embarrassing proportions.”
He, therefore, challenged the council to develop for implementation, effective strategies and framework including benchmarks to ensure the project quality management plan of building in the country is rightly applied.
Chairman of CORBON, Bala Kabir, who responded, admitted that the built industry had over the years been bedevilled with challenges of poor quality delivery and incessant building collapses that many a time resulted to loss of lives, properties with huge economic consequences.
Kabir restated the mandate of the council to include the establishment and implementation of academic building standards as well as practice. He added that CORBON is charged to regulate the activities of builders through registration and issuing of licenses. “We accredit educational institutions, programmes for training of builders and discipline registered and license holders,” he said.
The guest speaker, Akin Akindoyeni, urged the National Assembly to strengthen the council through legislative frameworks to end quackery and building collapse in the country. Akindoyeni noted that except CORBON is empowered, it may be difficult to stop the menace.
According to him, prospective house owners should as well endeavour to engage experts in the sector before commencing any building project. “Nigerians too are not helping matters. Some people give housing projects to quacks and buy substandard materials. So if any collapse happens, the blame goes to the builders,” he added.