SON urges stakeholders to collaborate against building collapses

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By Abba-Eku Onyeka, Abuja

The Director General  (DG), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Osita Aboloma has said that effective collaboration of regulators, professional associations and other stakeholders would reduce incessant building and other structure collapses to the barest minimum in Nigeria.

This was the basis of a paper titled “Standardizing Materials, Products and Processes” the DG delivered at the 2018 Builders Congress organized by the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) in Abuja last week. The paper enumerated the availability of national standards for virtually all materials in the built sector and urged professionals to adhere to them strictly, in the interest of the nation and its people. Represented by the SON Head of Construction Management, Engr. Paul Oke, the DG disclosed that SON was in the process of retooling the National Standardization and Quality Assurance Committee for the Building and Construction Industry in conjunction with relevant stakeholders to address issues relating to standards development, review, adoption, implementation and enforcement, even as he enumerated the efforts of SON in tackling the circulation of substandard products through the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) and offshore Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) for locally manufactured and imported products respectively. Aboloma reminded the gathering that the SON Act of 2015 has empowered the organisation to seize substandard products and prosecute culprits who engage in production or sale of such products inclusive of building materials.

In a keynote address at the occasion, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana urged professionals in the building and construction industry to take optimum advantage of the Presidential Executive Order 5 on planning and execution of projects to expose and prosecute quacks in the system. Falana offered his legal team to the CORBON in collaboration with other stakeholders to come up with an all-encompassing legislation to regulate practice in the built environment.

Chairman of CORBON, Builder Professor Kabir Bala stated that the recurring menace of building and structural collapse in Nigeria necessitated the theme of the congress “Standardisation and Innovative Technologies for Sustainable Development in Nigeria’s Construction Industry”.

The CORBON awards of excellence in recognition of contributions to the building profession and 2018 Builders Congress was conferred on notable personalities including, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; his Minister of State, Surveyor Suleiman Hassan Zarma; Osita Aboloma Esq. Director General, SON; and Mr. Femi Falana, SAN. Others include Prof. Olumide Olasanya of Julius Berger Nig. Plc, Prof. Danladi Matawal, Director General, Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute.

The 3-day event had in attendance professionals from the building industry such as, architects, land and quantity surveyors, civil, structural, mechanical and electrical engineers, builders among other professionals in the built sector.

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