NIOB Wants Government to Enforce Regulation on Building Collapse

The Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) on Wednesday called on governments in the country to enforce the regulation against building collapse.

The body said that government at all levels should ensure that individuals and organisations involved in building collapse were prosecuted.

According to NIOB Chairman in the Federal Capital Territory, Mr James Ogbagha, enforcing the rules will help to checkmate incidents of building collapse.

Ogbagha told newsmen in Abuja that prosecuting culprits would serve as deterrent to clients wishing to engage the services of quacks in building.

“For the incidents of collapse we had in past time, we have not actually had people involved, either the client or the professionals, being successfully prosecuted.

 “In other climes, when a structure goes down, people will pay for it; from clients to non-professionals, to the approving authorities.

“Some of these people should be sitting quietly in one cell or the other, but we have not had that; all we have is inquiry on how it happened.

“The government has not successfully prosecuted anybody that is involved in any of these collapses and that is why it feels anybody can commit anything and go free,” he said.

He added that it was necessary that stakeholders formed a pressure group to push for the passage of the National Building Code Bill which would ensure that standard was maintained.

Ogbagha expressed worry that the struggle for the passage of the bill had been on since 1987, adding that the delay was encouraging the practice of quacks in the profession.

“For us to have an environment we are proud of, it is necessary for us as professional bodies, individuals and government, to work together especially regarding the necessity to have a building code.

“We can’t be pursuing this particular issue for 30 years and still, we do not have a code that is functional.

“Even, without the code, we have the responsibility to protect our own sector; we are recognised by law yet we don’t have the mandate to prosecute, because we don’t have the legal backing.

“We could come together as professionals in the building environment and form a pressure group to push for the passage of the bill.

“On the long run we are the ones losing; we are facing the embarrassment in the sector, because we are the recognised professionals in that sector.

“We must rise beyond looking towards government to have a political will to do what is needful; we must be seen to be doing our part as a pressure group.

“We need to come together to fish out quacks among us and imbibe professionalism so that we can deliver to the Nigerian people, a safe and sustainable environment,” he said.

He added that the institute was collaborating with relevant agencies, making contributions to ensure standards beneficial for a safe environment.

Source: NAN

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