By Abba – Eku Onyeka
A professional in construction industry has blamed the government and corruption for collapsing of buildings in the country.
Engr. Uche Ekebuisi, a mechanical engineer with Skill – G Nigeria Limited explained why he blamed the government and corruption for rampant collapsing of buildings in Nigeria.
According to him, among the the ugly developments in the area include the unaffordable amount developers and stakeholders in the building industry were being made to pay before they could get a plot of land from the government, especially in Abuja, adding that people pay through their nose before a plot of land is allocated to them.
In order to meet up with the development of their projects, he allegedly went on, they usually cut corners, even as he however alleged that government officials whose duty of supervising the construction projects usually abandon their assigned responsibility for bribery.
Still alleging corruption in the whole system, he said: “Anyone who is blaming the engineers is not far from the truth, because all of us are in Nigeria. Look at what is happening in the political terrain. People are not following due process in this country. Anything can happen and government is not doing anything about it. It is a failure of the government.
“People are blaming the engineers, because they are also Nigerians. The ones they are bringing from China are not better than Nigerian ones. Nigerian engineers abroad perform wonderfully and some of them get so many awards. So the Nigerian factor is causing the problem. See buildings collapsing.”
In addition, he said: “People wonder how those who build houses in Abuja generate the money with which they got the land, because the cheapest land in Abuja metropolis is more than N100 million and one begins to wonder how to generate such money; but a civil servant is getting this money. So invariably, corruption in the government.”
He however said he has noticed with dismay that sometimes a plot of land would be sold from one person to another, until it passes to many hands until it gets to the person who would develop it.
For building collapses to reduce in Nigeria, Engr. Uche Ekebuisi said: a surveyor should be allowed to do his work professionally and map out the land; soil expert should test the soil professionally, so as to determine the strength of the soild; an architect should design it; quantity surveyor would be allowed to do his own job professionally; structural engineer would recommend the kind of rod, among others to be used; the builder will then be allowed to professionally execute the project, after which the electrical and plumbing engineers would come in.
He said until each of the professionals are allowed to do his work in a building project strictly in line with the approved plan of a building, the collapse of buildings would continue.
Another serious factor that contributes immensely to the problems, according to him was from the government officials, whom he accused of demanding and accepting bribe from project owners and giving them approval, no matter how. He also added project owners to the problem. He said due to the huge amount they spent in among others, acquiring the land, they would interfere and urge the builder to use substandard materials, even as he highlighted that project owners often give their projects to quacks, which according to him has contributed in no small way to a lot of problems in the industry
“Until all the anomalies in the construction industry are addressed,” he went on, “the problem would persist.”