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Building Failures

Building Collapse: Lagos, Anambra, Abuja Rank Highest – Report

Fresh facts has emerged that Lagos, Anambra, Abuja and Kogi topped the chart as the states with the highest number of building collapses from 2012 to 2019.

Findings has indicated that about 408 persons died, while over 617 sustained various degrees of injury in eight years, across 25 states, inclusive of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The states are FCT, Lagos, Anambra, Ogun, Kaduna, Kogi, Taraba, Kwara, Benin, Abia, Ondo, Plateau, Rivers, Bayelsa and Sokoto. The other states are Imo, Benue, Oyo, Kano, AkwaIbom, Jigawa, Rivers, Niger and Osun. While Lagos recorded 38 collapses during the period under review, Anambra, Abuja and Kogi States had 10, 7 and 7 incidents respectively. This was followed by Ogun, Kwara, Imo and Benue States which recorded three collapses each in eight years. Benin, Ondo, Delta, Akwa Ibom and Rivers States had two collapses each within the period under review. Also, Kaduna, Taraba, Abia, Plateau, Rivers Bayelsa, Sokoto, Oyo, Kano, Jigawa, Niger and Osun States experienced one building collapse each in eight years.

A report obtained from the Nigeria Institute of Civil Engineers (NICE) highlighted that in 2012, the highest death recorded was when a 3 storey at Oloto street, Ebute Metta collapsed, killing 10 persons.

About 24 persons died while 133 injured across the 25 states in 2012. The incidents were attributed to unsupervised demolition of defective building, occasioned by use of substandard materials and inadequate concrete mix ratio. However in 2013, the highest death witnessed was when a 3-storey building marked for demolition at Ebute Metta, Lagos Island collapsed, an incident that led to the death of 7 persons in May.

While 39 persons died, 120 sustained various degree of injury in 2013, just as the incidents were linked to heavy downpour, use of substandard materials and premature removal of concrete slab/decking formwork.

READ MORE:  HDAN Condemns Lagos Building Collapse, Blames authority for negligence

Further findings indicated that the highest death in 2014, was pronounced when a 6- storey hostel under construction at Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Ikotu Lagos collapsed on 12th September, leading to the death of 116 persons, mainly South Africans, while over 100 persons were injured due to faulty foundation.

The other incidents within the year was also linked to the use of substandard building materials as 132 died, while 163 sustained injury in 2014. In 2015, one person died when a 3-storey building at 87 Swamp street Odunfa, Lagos Island collapsed on October 21.

The other incidents within the year was attributed to gas explosion and deserted building marked for demolition, just as 19 persons were injured. Only one death case and 19 injuries were recorded in 2015, considered to the lowest number of fatalities so far.

However in 2016, the highest death recorded was during the collapse of a church building (Reigners Bible Church) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state on December 10.

About 50 persons died , while over 100 others were injured/trapped at the time of the incident, due to inadequate roof support and poor construction/ supervision. This was followed by the collapse of a 5-storey building at Lekki Garden, Lekki Phase 1 Ikate Lagos on March 8, where 35 persons died and several injured over poor quality construction  materials, workmanship and supervision, increase in the number of floors from three to five.

The third highest incident recorded in the same year involved a 2-storey building under construction at Kano State University of Science and Technology , Wudil that collapsed on August 22, killing 20 persons and injuring five.

READ MORE:  Previous building collapse incidents Nigerian government failed to investigate

Throughout the year, 137 persons died, while over 50 were injured. The incidents were linked to heavy rainfall, structural defect, poor quality of construction materials, workmanship and supervision. Also, the highest incident recorded in 2017, was the collapse of a four-storey building in Lagos on July 26, 2017, that led to the death of eight persons.

About 32 persons died , while over 62 sustained various degrees of injury within the year under review. The entire incident in 2017 was rated as distressed building marked for demolition, weakened and dilapidated building. Also, in 2018, the highest fatality recorded was when a seven-storey building under construction in Port Harcourt, Rivers State collapsed on November 23, killing 17 persons due to overload.

About 23 persons died, while over 12 were injured all through the year. The collapses were attributed to weak and dilapidated structures likewise distressed buildings marked for demolition. In 2019, the highest collapse recorded from January to May involved the collapse of a three-storey residential/school building at 14 Massey street, Ita Faji area of Lagos Island, on 13th March. About 20 persons died , while 43 others were injured.

Within the year, 58 persons died in different locality where similar incident occurred. They were linked to poor concrete casting and the developer’s failure to liaise with approving authorities before embarking on the project.

To this end, experts who spoke to LEADERSHIP advocated compulsory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on all proposed building sites before construction. The chairman of NICE, Abuja chapter, Engr. Dominic Onuh Akuboh, sought the strengthening of student’s industrial training and work experience scheme, adding that government should prioritise technical education at all levels.

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He recommended that government should collaborate with professional bodies to review building codes and educational curricula especially in tertiary institutions to include relevant courses such as failure analysis, forensic science, reliability, probabilistic analysis of failure modes, geotechnical/foundation engineering.

While disclosing that developers should comply with all regulations pertaining to building designs, modifications, construction approvals, supervision, standard material specifications and permits, he challenged them to provide details of soil investigation and land survey in their sites.

Akuboh pleaded with regulators and professional bodies to collaborate by ensuring proper supervision of design, work, quality of materials and personnel at all stages of construction projects. Lending his voice, Engr. Kanno Ukoabasi, pointed out that qualified civil engineers should supervise the execution of buildings and ensure strict adherence to contract specifications. He recommended that soil investigation, material test and Environmental Impact Assessment(EIA) must be made compulsory for all residential, institutional, industrial and commercial buildings. Ukoabasi noted that the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) should be vigilant to ensure that building materials imported into the country conformed to standards requirements.

To curb the menace of building collapse, he enjoined stakeholders in the building and construction industry to join forces with the regulatory and professional bodies to tackle the problems headlong.

Source: By Chika Okeke

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