RECURRENT TRAGEDY OF BUILDING COLLAPSE IN NIGERIA — Nigerian Pilot News
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RECURRENT TRAGEDY OF BUILDING COLLAPSE IN NIGERIA

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Building collapse: Between professional and official negligence

The menace of building collapse in Nigeria is gradually becoming a recurrent tragedy. Last week, residents of Lagos State woke up to the shocking news of building collapse that killed several pupils who left their parents in search of modern education. This is in addition to several other families that were resident in the ill-fated building.

While rescue operations were ongoing, the developing story of another building collapse in Ibadan, South-western Nigeria also filtered in. Though authority claimed that no life was lost, it is embarrassing enough that building collapse is gradually becoming a norm in a country that is not only richly blessed by God in terms of human and material resources but also adjudged as the pride of the black race in the world.

Regrettably, the Lagos episode, according to news report, was occasioned by a criminal act of deliberate neglect and corruption in the state urban planning.

It is our opinion that the Lagos State Government and other relevant bodies should launch full scale investigation into the veracity or otherwise of the alleged bribery allegation that preceded the collapsed building with a view to preventing future occurrence of this kind of senseless and preventable bloodletting.

We also agree with predominant views in public circle that all is not well with professionals in the construction and real estate sector in Nigeria. This calls to question the importance and relevance of these professional associations in the sector. Do they have standard at all? If they do, to what extent does the standard apply?

Shortly after the Ibadan building collapse, the professional associations were the first to run to the press to blame the cause on quackery and use of sub standard materials in the construction industry. But the question is: Have the professional bodies being from in their regulatory?

This culture of bulk passing should be discouraged, especially when this kind of avoidable disaster occurs. It is nobler to own up to the failure of the regulators. It is an emblem of good leadership to accept responsibility than bulk passing.

While we acknowledge the fact that Nigerian building material markets are fraught with sub standard products, there is another bigger failure on the part of government regulatory and standard organisations in the country.

Surveyors, architects, engineers, builders and other professionals in the built environment including artisans and technicians should come up with water tight strategies aimed at eliminating quacks amongst them to forestall this incessant blame game whenever this building disaster occurs.

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While rescue operations were ongoing, the developing story of another building collapse in Ibadan, South-western Nigeria also filtered in. Though authority claimed that no life was lost, it is embarrassing enough that building collapse is gradually becoming a norm in a country that is not only richly blessed by God in terms of human and material resources but also adjudged as the pride of the black race in the world

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