President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday warned that those who cut corners that resulted in building collapse in the country will face the full wrath of the law.
He gave the warning while receiving the leadership of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, the recent building collapse demands urgent adherence to quality standards.
He said “However, the recent tragic incident in Lagos and many others across the country, reminds us of the need to strictly adhere to quality standards when it comes to construction projects.
“Young innocent lives must never be lost due to incompetence and greed. Simply put, no corners must be cut.
“l want to assure you that those responsible for such incidents of professional negligence will feel the full wrath of the law,” he said
Stressing that his administration remain committed to the Change Agenda, he said that the dark days of impunity are gone for good.
He said “As a Government, we remain focused and committed to ensuring we create an inclusive and diversified economy. This simply means National growth must impact the silent majority.
“This is why in the past three years; we focused on key job creating sectors such as Agriculture and Infrastructure Development.
“You will all recall that our Agriculture and Infrastructure programs contributed to our exit from the recession. This is a clear example of how, if we push “inclusive” job creating policies, growth will follow.
“We will remain committed to these and other programs, to ensure the success of our nation is felt by the majority of Nigerians.
“With our significant infrastructure deficit, your sector has the potential and the bandwidth to create impactful jobs across the country. Both urban and rural areas.”
Towards commencing dialogue, he urged them to make formal submission to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing as soon as possible.
“Like you mentioned in your remarks, many of your members are currently working in Government and I am confident we can commence these reforms within the shortest possible time.” he added
The President of NIQS, Obafemi Onashile congratulated the President on his well-deserved re-election as the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“And pray that Allah will continue to grant you good health, the grace and the strength to achieve your good intensions and aspiration for the Nation and to deliver the dividends of democracy to the citizenry.
“Your re-election is indeed a confirmation of the support for your policies on anti-corruption, rule of law, transparency which is magnified in your TSA (Treasury Single Account) Policy which all past administrations shied away from as well as your Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
“Your Excellency, you can count on the NIQS to further push these programmes and much more on your behalf as they are sincere and meaningful for our Country.”
“Your Excellency Sir, we are here on a visit, not to only felicitate with you but to express our total confidence in your administration and leadership direction, which have brought hope, progress and stability to our Nation.”
He said “It is obvious that your government is listening government that is committed to improving the plights of the Nigerian citizens. Your recently signed Executive Orders No.5 and No.7 aptly exhibit a government interested in professional handling of governance. Your open war on corruption is also a testimony of sincerity of purpose and transparency of your government.
He said that construction projects are usually high capital intensive and could be readymade platforms for large scale corruption in any economy if not professionally managed with requisite discipline.
According to him, the Construction Industry is the second industry potentials for greatest impact on the National Economy of any nation.
The Construction Industry, he said, plays a very pivotal role in infrastructure delivery, massive employment, domestic manufacturing, through many cottage industries for producing glass, ceramics, iron billets and rods, aluminum sheets and profiles, paints, plywood and timber profiles that can be consumed locally and even exported to other neighbouring countries to earn foreign exchange.
“With a booming Construction Industry, other construction resources such as construction plants and vehicles will become locally assembled/made and thereby oiling the national economy for exponential performance.”
The importance of having a booming Construction industry, he noted cannot be over- emphasized.
“This is why on behalf of the Construction Industry; our Institute is calling attention of the Federal Government to areas where the industry can be freed of shackles holding its performance down.
“These shackles we shall enumerate as follows: Unclear delineation of Professional functions amongst construction professions within the Government. There is an urgent need to create a Directorate of Quantity Surveying and Project Costs Management, just like we have Directorates of Civil Engineering as well as Housing.”
He said that the Quantity Surveyors should be mandated and allowed to undertake Cost Management of projects of all forms on behalf of Government.
He said that Engineers should be compelled to focus and deliver on designs and implementations of Projects and leave costing and Cost Control to the Quantity Surveyors.
“The acknowledgement that projects are now more complicated and complex thus the need for and recognition of the services of Professional Project Managers on large government projects in order to stem project failures.
“Quantity Surveyors have in the recent years improved on our proficiencies and we do now possess relevant capacity to manage any size of projects together with the retinue of any combination of project teams. Even where projects are being donated to the government or being designed abroad and built by multinationals, Quantity Surveyors should be considered for appointments as Project Managers to act for the government,” he said.