Unqualified engineers responsible for collapse of buildings in Nigeria – Expert

A member of the Nigeria Society of Engineers, Engr Oginni Muraina Alade, has decried the high rate of unqualified building engineers, who pose as professionals taking contracts to build substandard buildings; saying, it is the major cause of collapse of buildings in the country.

Alade stated this at the weekend in Kaduna, while presenting a Paper during a seminar, on the alarming rate of building collapse in Nigeria.

He identified other factors to include, poor workmanship, use of substandard building materials, illegal alterations of design and faulty construction methodology, among others.

According to him, “It is disheartening to state that non-professionals are ‘evil collaborators’ with the cooperation of ‘some ignorant and arrogant’ clients in seek of cheap labour, have taken up the services of Architects and Engineers in the building industry, resulting to erection of buildings susceptible to collapse.

“Even professionals like Quantity Surveyors, Estate managers, Business managers, Land Surveyors and even Architects present themselves to clients as Engineers; hence the responsibility to ensure serious structural work in some cases (for multi-rise structures) are placed in the ‘wrong hands.’ Inter-professional interaction can help by campaign or better place enacting punishment to confirmed defaulters.

“Any client or project owner confirmed to have defaulted by engaging non-professionals or found to have refused to adhere to approved design specifications should be charged for non-compliance, or stiff penalty be meted on such client, as this will serve as deterrent to others.

“All development control agencies of Federal Development Control Agencies, State Development Control Agencies, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Nigeria Institute of Builders (NIOB), Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute (NBBRI), Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) and Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) should be more empowered by stiffened legislative backing to not only close a site confirmed to have defaulted in carrying out standard building practices, but be empowered to prosecute or raise alarm to the appropriate bodies, prosecution of defaulting client or professionals.

“The regulatory bodies will only succeed when the key implementation tools, the supervising and monitoring team, professionals stand the grounds to ensure that all building constructions are in accordance with the laid down by-laws and procedures,” Alade explained.

Another fellow, Engr. Ganiyu Mustapha, on his part faulted the non-existence of legislation to check building constructions, saying “No law exacted to build. People build without approvals. They build foundations and go as far as six floors without approval. In advanced countries, you get your foundation approved before continuing with building,” he added.

 

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