Five Dead as Buildings Collapse in Philippine Quake

Five people were killed when at least two buildings collapsed near Manila after a powerful earthquake set skyscrapers swaying and drove terrified locals into the street.

Three bodies have been pulled out of a four-storey building in the town of Porac, while a woman and her grandchild were crushed to death in the town of Lubao, Lilia Pineda, governor of Pampanga province told ABS-CBN television.

“We believe there are still people trapped in the four-storey building,” Pineda said, adding 20 people have so far been rescued and taken to hospital as night fell.

“It’s difficult because there is no power, so we’re still trying to get hold of a generator to be able to rescue the people inside,” she added.

A strong quake with a magnitude of 6.3 struck the region at 5:11 pm (0911 GMT) according to the US Geological Survey.

The quake that rumbled across the northern Philippines caused skyscrapers to sway, as they are designed to do, in Manila.

It also caused serious damage to the capital’s secondary Clark Airport, which is located on the site of the former US military installation that lies about an hour’s drive north of the capital.

Damage was still being assessed, but residents posted photos on social of media showing cracked walls and light fixtures swinging in the moments after the quake.

Office workers piled out onto the streets as emergency alarms blared, AFP reporters saw.

Feliza Villanueva, 21, a business process outsourcing employee told AFP she and four colleagues were at work when the quake struck.

“This was the second strongest quake I’ve felt in my entire life,” she told AFP as she joined hundreds of others in the courtyard of an office building, waiting for the all clear.

“We were worried but we did not panic,” she said.

“We planned how to evacuate the building. There were too many people going down the stairs, so we waited for our turn. People looked in shock, but no one was shouting or anything like that,” she said.

The quake was centred on the town of Castillejos, about 100 kilometres (62 miles) northwest of Manila, local geologists said.

Scientists from the US Geological Survey logged its magnitude at 6.3, and said its epicentre was 40 kilometres (25 miles) below the Earth’s surface.

Dani Justo, a martial arts instructor, told AFP she was at her Manila home when the quake struck.

“The clothes hanging on our line were really swaying. My shih tzu (dog) dropped flat on the ground,” she added.

The Philippines is part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from quake-prone Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

Guardianng

FIABCI Calls for Review of Recommendations to Abate Building Collapse

The President, FIABCI Nigeria, Mr Adeniji Adele and Secretary General, Mr Ayodeji Odeleye, said in a statement that the association believed that previous standing committees that had been constituted at the federal and state levels, could have some solutions to the building collapse puzzle.

According to the group, building collapse is not a new phenomenon all over the world but the concern is the continuous and unending occurrence in Nigeria, as well as the fact that city administrators seem to be unwilling to take necessary corrective measures.

It said, “As a forward-looking organisation, we, therefore, wish to propose some recommendations that will check this menace. To start with, we believe that fact-finding missions are carried out on every building collapse that has ever occurred. However, the final reports emanating from these missions are either locked up in secluded shelves where they may never see the light of the day or for some political reasons not made available to the general public and research organisations for their consumption and use.

“The need to make such documents public cannot be overemphasized, as the findings could guide future building policies, as well as aid research into building construction, development and management. This will help prevent the recurrence of a building collapse as lessons are drawn from past findings, while panaceas would have been proffered.”

FIABCI said many of the marked buildings for demolition were still standing with occupants still carrying out their daily activities, adding that these buildings were obvious dangers waiting to happen at any time.

Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

South Africa church collapses during Passover: 13 killed, 16 injured

Thirteen people were confirmed dead with sixteen others sustaining varying degrees of injury when a church collapsed in South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal province.

The incident which occured late Thursday took place at the Pentecost Church located at the Dlangubo area of eMpangeni in the province.

This incident happened after their church building collapsed on them during a Passover service, the state-run South African Broadcasting Corporation, SABC, said in its report.

Health officials say the building collapsed due to heavy rainfall in northern parts of the province. A team of government officials are set to visit the scene on Friday, the SABC report added.

The KwaZulu Natal provincial government has sent words of commiserations to the affected families with the promise of a full scale probe into the incident.

Ahead of a long Easter holiday, authorities are also tasking motorists to be responsible whiles using the roads. The season has often recorded accidents due to speeding and drunk driving hence the awareness creation efforts.

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Disaster management team has been dispatched to the Dlangubo area of eMpangeni on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal where 13 congregants of the Pentecostal church were killed last night.

Source: By Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban

Lagos LGAs, BCPG Sensitize Citizens on Building Collapse

The Building Collapse Prevention Guild has revealed plans to collaborate with  all  Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas of Lagos State to create awareness against building collapse at the grassroots.

The group said enlightenment remained a key part of eradicating the menace of building collapse in Lagos State and the country at large.

The Coordinator, BCPG Badagry Cell, Mr Olajire Olaniyi, during the group’s visit to the palace of Akran of Badagry Kingdom, De Wheno Aholu Menu-Toyi 1, said the guild had commenced a campaign for zero tolerance to building collapse.

He said, “Fortunately, there has not been incidence of building collapse in Badagry, but more efforts need to be put in place to ensure no such incidence will be experienced. This can be achieved through grassroots sensitisation of the residents to use standard building materials, obey codes and conducts and always engage the services of professionals in their housing construction.

“Badagry is the next point of development because after completion of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, lots of local and international investors will come into Badagry. It is not until a building collapses, we start shedding tears. We need to sit up and continuously push for proactive measures to ensure zero per cent building collapse.”

He said the guild would not relent in its advocacy and efforts towards attaining a zero per cent building collapse across Lagos State.

The Secretary, BCPG Lagos State, Mr Friday Chukwu, said it had become necessary for stakeholders to focus more attention on the quality of materials and workmanship.

He stated that this could also help in ending building collapse as the quality of building materials and how they were applied had huge impact on buildings.

He cautioned residents to be cautious of developers or landlords who renovate or paint distressed buildings to make them look new, without carrying out structural integrity tests.

Meanwhile, the President, Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Mr Obafemi Onashile, has attributed increased cases of building collapse in the country to defective construction laws still in use.

He said as an anti-dote to end such incessant cases, the National Assembly should expedite action and pass the bill on ‘Construction Industry Health and Safety’ sent to the lawmakers by surveyors and subsequently assented to by the president.

Onashile spoke at the institute’s southeast zonal workshop in Owerri, with the theme, ‘Construction industry health and safety management.’

According to him, Factories Act of 1974 as amended, cannot solve the modern needs in the industry, urging President Muhammadu Buhari, to as a matter of necessity, establish Construction Industry Board which will comprise experienced professionals in the building industry to ensure decisions and implementation of related issues are carried out.

He said, “We have told President Buhari that we need to have Construction Industry Board. It will form part of the approach towards solving this problem. We have MoU with relevant ministries and departments. That is the last threshold of it. By the grace of God, that will come to pass very soon.

“The issue of building collapse is because the construction industry and laws in our country, especially, the Factories Act of 1974 – 2004 are defective. That is why we are having collapse buildings.”

Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi

Building Collapse: SON Laments N4.5bn Loss

The effect of building collapse on Nigeria economy has taken a toll on both live and property of the citizens. Aside the trauma, the devastating effects on property is better imagined than beheld.

Speaking on the menace of building collapse in the country, the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), said about 3,210 persons were killed and property worth N4.5 billion destroyed in 245 incidents of building collapse in Nigeria from 2007 to 2017.

At a public sensitization forum on building collapse for North Central held in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, Head of Construction Management Department, SON, Engineer Paul Oke, warned Nigerians to be vigilant to know when their buildings are showing signs of defects.

Building Collapse

READ ALSO: THE UNTOLD STORY OF LAGOS BUILDING COLLAPSE

Recently, about 37 people were rescued alive while eight were recovered dead in building housing school children that collapsed in Lagos Island going by the statement of Ibrahim Farinloye of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said in a statement.

In chaotic scenes, panicked parents, local residents and shocked onlookers rushed to the area as police, firemen and medics staged a massive rescue operation. A young man helping rescue efforts who gave his name only as Derin said “at least 10 children” were trapped inside but “thought to be alive”.

Oke said: “From 2007 and 2017, two hundred and forty-five buildings collapsed. It led to the death of 3,210 persons due to the substandard materials used in building houses across the nation.” Oke suggested jail or death sentence for owners of collapsed building and consultants to serve as deterrent to others.

SON Director-General Osita Abaloma, represented by Charles Owabara, said: “Over 175 buildings collapsed from 1971 to 2016, the cause of persistent of building collapse was due to the structural failures (24.9 per cent), substandard materials (13.2 per cent ) and poor workmanship (12.2 per cent), faulty design (8.8 per cent) use of quacks (7.3 per cent) and inappropriate foundation (6.8 per cent) respectively.”

Sunng

The Untold Story of Lagos Building Collapse

It was sunset at noon. The clouds became dark. They are feeling some glacial pang of pains like the stab of a dagger of ice frozen from a poisoned well.

Three-Storey Building collapses in Lagos Alaba market, for a mother, the only thing more painful than birth pangs is the pain of watching your children kidnapped by the cold hands of death. They are down and out, their souls are vexed about the incident.

Fallout of Lagos building collapse If love and tears were enough, some of the relatives and sympathisers could have mustered the whole world to save the dead but death have other tragic plans.

READ ALSO: BUILDING COLLAPSE: ENOUGH OF POLITICAL TRUMPERY

Lagos Building

Their loved ones are gone in an undisguised hours, leaving them in the cold in the drudgery of life. These are the sad tales and harrowing confessions of the residents of Ita Faji, OkeArin, Kakawa streets, Lagos Island, Lagos State.

The structures which are among the hundreds of buildings marked by the Lagos State Government for demolition caved in within a space of two weeks. Though no one was trapped in the case of Kakawa street because the building was marked for demolition and occupants had vacated the collapsed structure, however, it affected a bungalow with three occupants.

The story was however different from that of Ita Faji and Oke Arin where scores of people lost their lives and many hospitalised. Most of the residents who spoke with Vanguard over the development expressed disappointment and anguish, blaming it on the Lagos State Government’s double standard. Mr. Chikelu, a civil engineer, who resides in the vicinity, picked holes on the sincerity of the Lagos State Government to effect demolition as parroted in the media.

His words: “The Lagos State Government should be held responsible for the deaths. The buildings were isolated to be brought down years now, for failing series of integrity tests conducted, but government obviously compromised and the result is this unfortunate incident.” Galadima doesn’t exist, APC fires back over election rigging claim.

Another resident who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter travelled a strange lane. She fingered politicians performing rituals as the brains behind the recurring building collapse. “She went down memory lane, “When Ambode won the gubernatorial election, more than forty houses were burnt, properties destroyed.

Now, San-wolu is warming up and buildings are collapsing, occultic politicians are effecting their spiritual promises,” “she thundered” However, Vanguard learned that some occupant of the Ita Faji apartment, lost close family members varying from two to five. It was gathered that a woman who lost her children to the rubble, took her life as the grief exceeded her elastic limits.

Speaking with a parent who lost his five children, he went uncontrollably as he battled tears to talk. In an emotion laden voice, he said : “ My world has crumbled.God why me! What have I done wrong? I have served you diligently but you abandoned me when I needed you most” “He cried as he continued to weep” SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM It is imperative that the Lagos State Government should revisit and renew the entire Lagos master plan; most importantly, it should commence an urban renewal programme for its inner cities that are presently suffering degradation, dilapidation and ruin. Government should be proactive not reactive in approaching governance.

READ ALSO: ARTISANS REVEAL ROLE IN TACKLING BUILDING COLLAPSE IN NIGERIA

Lagos Building

INTEGRITY

The Lagos State Government should set up a high powered committee comprising government officials and the private sector core professionals which would employ the Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory to check the integrity of buildings in these areas: Mushin, Ajegunle, Shomolu, Bariga, Ketu, Iyana-Ipaja, Abule Egba, etc.

Buildings and other development that do not comply or align with the spirit, concept and context of the urban renewal master plan should be paid in this regard to Lagos Island LEGISLATION The 40-members Lagos State House of Assembly should as a matter of urgency pass a resolution, urging the Lagos State Government to commence the demolition of all marked buildings in Lagos State irrespective of whose ox is gored to avert further collapse and save lives.

AGADA IKECHUKWU

Building Collapse: ARCON Introduces New Policy, APRN to Tackle Menace

IN apparent response to a call by the Lagos State government, seeking solution to the menace of building collapse, and urging the public to submit memoranda in that respect,  the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON), has urged relevant authorities in the country to adopt its initiative known as “Projects’ Registration Number (APRN)” system.

To ARCON,  introduction of APRN, would  among other benefits, reduce the menace of building collapse in Nigeria.

President of the Council, Sir Dipo Ajayi, an architect, who said this to newsmen recently, was reacting to collapsed buildings in Lagos and other parts of the country.

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“Only two weeks ago, a four-floor building at Ita-Faaji area of Lagos Island,  that was being used as residential and school premises collapsed, with the unfortunate incident led to the death of some, including children, while several others were injured.

“ As if that was not enough, few days after another building in Ibadan, Oyo state, also collapsed”, lamented the ARCON boss.

Aayi, who was accompanied by messrs Kayode Anibaba, former Commissioner for Physical Planning and Environment in Lagos; Adebayo Dipe, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Housing; Mr. Ohioma Andy, Director, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing;  Ladi Lewis, former chairman, Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Lagos; and Tiwalola Fadeyibi (all architects), to the Ita-Faaji collapsed building site, said it was high time for all states to embrace its APRN initiative.

According to him, APRN System, which entails the process of numbering all architectural projects in Nigeria, will further tighten loose end in monitoring building projects across the country.

“We want to collaborate with state governments to ensure that APRN becomes operational in all the states in country.  And we have been creating awareness on this.”

Ajayi added that according to the process, all architectural projects/drawings are prepared only by fully registered architects, submitted to ARCON and assigned the ARCON Project Registration Number (APRN) before submission for planning/implementation approvals.

Ajayi, who commiserated with the families of the deceased and hoped that those directly involved in this despicable act would be brought to book, said that, while the APRN is intended to combat the scourge of building failure and collapse through the elimination of quackery, it will also ensure that only fully registered and financially current architects/architectural firms prepare, produce and submit designs for planning/implementation approval and receive such approvals when they are given.

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According to him, architects and architectural firms who are registered with the council are to submit architectural building plans for approval/implementation and are responsible for the supervision of their designs.

Ajayi said that, this measure is to complement the old practice of submitting building with a copy of the architect’s current practice licence, the affixing of ARCON stamps, signed by the architect and sealed (with the architect’s ARCON seal) on each sheet of the drawings submitted for approval.

He revealed that building can collapse due to non-involvement of professionals and poor designs; over-perpetual loading, adding that development, hence, there must be re-engineering, rebuilding and re-planning of the entire Lagos Island space.

 

Building collapse: Enough of Political Trumpery

ACCORDING to the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, 54 buildings collapsed in Nigeria within a period of five years (between 2012 and 2016). This is an average of more than ten buildings collapsing every year, which is by whatever standard, unnervingly excessive. And every building collapse leaves a trail of woes: deaths, pains and sorrows, and emotional and psychological wounds that may take a long time to heal, if ever.

Recently, a three-storey building, still occupied by businesses, residents and a primary school, collapsed in Ita Faji area of Lagos, killing 20 persons, many of them primary school pupils. As usual, the tragedy spawned emotive responses and solicitous visits by high-level government officials. In his response, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed his distress and commiserated with the affected families.

The governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, visited the site, lamented the tragedy, condoled with the bereaved families, and ordered the immediate demolition of all the defective structures already marked for demolition in Lagos State. These visits and cogent remarks were necessary and laudable.

However, the problem with the Nigeria power elite is not in political posturing, and in display of concerns, and making germane statements for bereaved families in times of emergencies and disasters. It is also not in ordering investigations and issuing of reports. Their problem is in accountability. Public accountability is borne out of a sense of responsibility on the part of the governing for the governed.

The Nigerian power elite are yet to realise that their legitimacy and moral authority derive solely from the trust reposed on them by the people, and that once they betray this trust, they must resign. The caving in of a fatally defective structure on the innocent and unsuspecting, especially, primary school students, was an egregious betrayal of the public trust by the Ambode administration, especially, the Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, that regulates building construction and the state Ministry of Education that allowed the continued operation of an illegal primary school in that exceedingly dilapidated building.

The fundamental reasons for building collapse in Lagos State are the corruption and professional negligence of the officials of the LASBCA. It is their statutory roles to monitor and regulate building construction, and thus, ensure that builders/developers strictly complied with professional standards and government guidelines and ordinances in building construction; and to identify structurally defective buildings and evacuate and demolish them. It is their failure to thoroughly carry out their statutory duties that results in building collapses in the state.

They fail to do their work because they are corrupt, and are therefore, bribed by builders and landlords. This allows the builders to use substandard building materials, employ quacks and circumvent building guidelines and ordinances in the attempt to maximize profit. It makes it possible for landlords to forestall the evacuation and demolition of their buildings already designated for demolition, and thus, continue to collect rent from them.

Public accountability demands that the chairman of LASBCA and the state Commissioner for Education take personal responsibilities for the corruption and dereliction of duties (of their subordinates) that resulted to the Ita Faji disaster.

In addition, officials of LASBCA and the state education ministry, that are, in any way, culpable of acts of corruption and negligence that resulted in that calamity and the continued operation of an illegal primary school in the collapsed building should be arrested and prosecuted. It will serve as a powerful deterrence to future building collapses in Lagos, as the officials and, by extension, every ministry and agency will learn, the hard way, that they will be held responsible for their professional misdeeds.

Disconcertingly, thus far, the state government has not demonstrated any resolve to hold anyone accountable. Already, officials of LASBCA are looking for scapegoats. They are blaming the landlords for their inability to evacuate and demolish unsafe buildings before they cave-in on their occupants. They claim the landlords refuse to vacate structurally defective buildings marked for demolition. But their protestations ring hollow. LASBCA has both regulatory and enforcement powers.

It is empowered by the law to forcibly evacuate and demolish structures already designated for demolition. Governor Ambode has since inaugurated a five-man panel to investigate the cause of the collapse of the three-storey building. The panel is to determine the level of negligence on the part of the developer or owner, role of the state government, and then, make appropriate recommendations and proffer remedial measures to stem building collapse in the future.

So, despite the extremely high number of building collapses in Lagos State, the plethora of investigations that followed them, and the reports that emanated from these investigations, the State government is yet to know the reasons for building collapse and the remedy to it? The reasons for building collapse in Lagos State are obvious: corruption and professional negligence, and its only remedy is public accountability.

To set up an investigative panel to determine what is already known is political trumpery. It is political manipulation by a grasping political class that is contemptuously indifferent to the ever-increasing plight of the masses and disdainful of the life of the common man. To continue this political deception with an issue that has resulted in the death of so many, and could result in even more deaths is tantamount to gambling with human lives.

Tochukwu Ezukanma

Rainstorm destroys Abuja worship centres, homes, schools

Residents of Galadimawa settlement in the Abuja Municipal Council Area are counting their losses after a heavy rainstorm blew off the roofs of some homes, worship centres and schools on Saturday.

Electric poles and other infrastructure were not spared as some of the poles were uprooted while parts of some buildings around the areas caved in due to the impact of the storm, which accompanied the rain.

The heavy rainstorm, which started around 10pm on Saturday, destroyed property estimated to be worth millions of naira.

This is even as residents and volunteer workers are still trying to ascertain the total cost of the damage.

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When our correspondent visited the affected on Sunday, some of the victims were seen trying to salvage valuables and personal effects from the wreckage of their homes.

rainstorm

Pupils of the Galadimawa Primary School, who live around the school, were mobilised to salvage what was left of their desks and chalkboards in some of the affected classroom blocks by the rainstorm

Some residents told Northern City News that the damage was the first of its kind in recent times.

One of the victims, Mr Uchena Ogbona said, “Where do I start from? I have lost everything. We plead with the FCT Administration to come to our aid.”

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Another victim, who gave her name as Mrs Uduak Opelema said, “I have never seen anything like this. This rainstorm has destroyed all that I have.

“Look at my house, there is nothing left; the rainstorm destroyed it, we need urgent help in this area.”

Source: By Olatunji Obasa

Providing lasting solution to building collapse

Would the Ita-Faaji building collapse in Lagos on March 13, which left many casualties in its wake be said of a tragedy foretold but ignored? How would a three-storey building have gone down with no pre-warning signal? If this fatal building collapse was preventable, who are those to be held responsible for the tragic incident – the owner, Lagos state government or the occupants?

Why would a building that had been previously marked for demolition on three occasions be allowed to remain until that tragedy struck? What lessons have we learned from past cases of building collapse in Nigeria? When will all structurally unfit and defective structures be identified and brought down before they wreak havoc?

Oftentimes the collapse of a building is a disaster that does not occur naturally. Incessant reports of building collapse in Nigeria have become increasingly alarming and embarrassing in this modern age as there seems to be no end in sight to this menace.

Casting a retrospective look into the history of failed buildings in Nigeria, one will observe that Lagos and Abuja appear to record more of such cases than any other state in Nigeria. Lately, there has been a rise in the number of building collapses in the country and it has become so bad that one can arguably say that a record of building collapse is registered somewhere within the country in every six months. According to a report from the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, a total of 54 buildings collapsed across the country within a period of four years – 2012 to 2016, while a tribunal set up by the minister Babatunde Fashola, discovered that 135 cases were recorded in Lagos alone between 2007 and 2013.

A national newspaper once reported that there were 33 building collapses in Lagos and 22 in Abuja in 2012; 17 in Lagos and 20 in Abuja in 2013; 13 in Lagos and two in Abuja in 2014. No doubt, these cases of building collapse would have left some fatalities and injuries. Research has it that the most prominent reason for building collapse is lack of quality control and non-compliance with established standards. Professional building experts say faulty architectural and structural design is one out of many identifiable causes of building collapse in Nigeria.

The President, Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), George Akinola, while speaking on a television programme, a day after the Ita-Faaji building collapse, said government building control agencies have been completely overwhelmed and are hence understaffed. He said about 42,000 houses are being built every year in Lagos and as such the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) officials cannot be everywhere, hence the need to involve BCPG and other professional bodies to monitor building constructions in Lagos.

Akinola cited the non-inclusion of professionals and trained experts in building procurement and delivery as a major cause of building collapse. He further added that building of houses without approvals may cause building collapse. Jaundiced legislation, non-adherence to standards and absence of national building code were stated as other reasons for building collapse.

Other reasons why buildings collapse are ignorance, negligence, use of substandard materials and greed on the side of everyone involved in the building and construction processes.

In order to stem the tide of building collapse in Nigeria, the president of BCPG said auditing the building processes is the way out. He said this requires that building control agencies approve every stage of the building process, urban renewal and then sanitising the whole process. These processes also involve carrying out integrity tests on buildings which will reveal architecturally sick buildings. Akinola stressed that strict punishment should be meted out to those found culpable in any case of building collapse no matter whose ox is gored.

The General Manager of LASBCA, LekanShodeinde, said there had been no new building collapse in Lagos in the last three years because they had been carrying out material testing on them. He said, “But for the old structures, we are going to be doing foundation analysis of about 70 percent of structures that are over 25 years old to ensure that they are still structurally sound.”

Shodeinde added that the state government planned to remove all distressed and illegal structures prone to collapse as well as those that are not in conformity with the state building laws. “Lagosians should cooperate with the state government by moving out of all buildings marked as distressed and also stay away from demolition sites. Only LASBCA has the responsibility and professional expertise to determine whether a building is distressed or prone to collapse”, he said.

It is also observed that one of the challenges encountered by LASBCA in delayed demolition of buildings marked as distressed is litigation. There seems to be a lot of legal tussles that relate to demolition of weak or structurally defective building which failed integrity tests conducted by the building control agency. We urge the court to hasten the process involved in getting a clearance to demolish structurally sick buildings.

Making building laws to regulate the activities of building contractors, architects and construction engineers is not enough; enforcing these laws is what brings impact. Building laws not obeyed nor enforced is useless. Government must ensure compliance of building contractors with all established laws on building and construction. Government must enforce laws, not just make them. A stiffer penalty must be given to owners of collapsed buildings and those involved in the construction.

As we commiserate with the families of those who lost their loved ones to the Ita-Faaji building collapse, we call on the government not to allow this case to be swept under the carpet as is usually the case. We hope that the advisory and investigative panel set up by the Lagos State government in the aftermath of the tragedy will do the needful. While we await a report from this committee, we expect arrest and prosecution of the culprits in the days ahead.

It is also important that we all admit that we have collectively failed and stop blaming the government and building regulators alone. The citizens must always comply with building standards and obey building laws as well.

Going forward, the government through its building control agencies and regulators must ensure that only structurally sound buildings that can stand the test of time are allowed to stay.

Source: Kayode Ojewale

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