Collapsed 7-storey building: Wike sets up Commission of Inquiry

 

Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike has directed the state Attorney-General to set up a Commission of Inquiry to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the collapse of a seven-storey building at Woji road, New GRA in Port Harcourt.

Governor Wike described the building collapse as a sad development which has led to the painful loss of lives.

“I feel so pained that we have to face this kind of calamity at this time. I commiserate with the families that have lost their loved ones, who came to seek their daily bread. The government will do all it can to give them the necessary support,” the governor said.

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“I have directed the Attorney-General of Rivers State to ensure that all legal steps are taken to do what is right within the ambit of the law.”

The governor ordered the immediate arrest of the owner of the collapsed building, saying that the state government will bring all culprits to book.

“Whoever that approved this structure and those involved in the construction will face the law. The government will take every necessary step to ensure that culprits are brought to justice.

“Whoever is involved, from the owner or the contractor or the officials of the state, they will face the full weight of the law,” he said.

Speaking when he led top government officials to visit the site of the collapsed building, Governor Wike noted that all officials of the Rivers State Government who defaulted in their duties would be sanctioned.

The governor was accompanied by his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike and top government officials.

“Government will take steps to acquire this property. We cannot allow this illegality. If you look at the master plan of this area, a seven-storey building is not allowed here.”

Governor Wike commended the construction giants, security agencies and non-governmental organisations for working with the state government to carry out rescue operations at the site of the building collapse.

It will be recalled that the seven-storey building at Woji road collapsed on Friday, with the state government mobilising emergency services to rescue trapped persons.

As at yesterday, there have been conflicting figures of persons rescued. While the government stated that 38 persons were rescued, some security personnel at the scene claimed the 28 persons have so far been rescued.

Meanwhile, the seven persons have been confirmed dead by those carrying out the rescue operation.

The governor directed that rescue operations should continue and at the time of filing this report 6:05 pm, intensive work was ongoing at the site.

Wike Visits Scene Of Collapsed Building

Governor Nyesom Wike says he is deeply pained by the disaster of the crashed seven-storey building in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Capital, and has vowed to ensure that appropriate sanctions are taken.

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The Governor who just arrived from a foreign trip which was cut short in the wake of building collapse explained that he is surprised that approvals were given for the building of a seven-story building on this sort of topography with a promise to get to the bottom of it.

Wike’s who was reacting two days after the tragic incident that left at least five dead also regretted the loss of lives. Meanwhile, rescue work is on-going as one more dead was recovered in the early hours of the morning. The site is still besieged by many who are hopeful that their loved ones will be rescued.

Frequent building collapse:Time to curb the ugly trend

The collapse of a 7 storey building in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Friday, 23rd November 2018, has apparently brought the disturbing trend of building collapse to the fore once again. The nation’s multi-storey structures are increasingly looking like disasters waiting to happen and an end seem not to be in sight to the menace.

This issue has become a cause for concern, the question to ask here is, are the building owners and/or their building professionals cutting corners in construction and putting up sub-standard buildings? Are unqualified people being employed to do the jobs? Or are they circumventing building regulations (with the connivance of the staff of the Building Authorities)? Or could it be that the liability for these mishaps may lie with the Building Authorities, who may have approved less than adequate building plans?

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Whatever the case, legally, if a building collapses and it is proven that it was sub-standard, then someone or people will have to be held accountable. In Nigeria, the main cause of building collapse has been found to be mainly structural failure, followed by poor workmanship and faulty designs respectively. In these circumstances, investigations usually reveal that specifications for the required building materials and safety procedures are sacrificed on the altar of profit and time, that is, to complete construction in record time.

To curb this ugly trend, builders and their clients, must ensure that all engineers on the construction project are COREN approved.
As a matter of urgency, there should be a review of the laws relating to construction, like the Urban and Regional Planning Law and the National Building Code, to ensure that all the bases have been covered. New legislation to fill any compliance gaps, which may have resulted in frequent building collapses, must be promulgated.

The steps to obtaining building plan approvals seem to be quite clear and robust. However, ensuring compliance to and enforceability of the laws, during the construction project, seems to be more of a challenge. Building Authorities must ensure strict compliance to the existing laws, by those involved in construction projects.

Frequent inspections of construction sites by the Building Authorities, must be carried out for instance, while constructing a building with approval for 3 floors, the owner may decide to increase the number of floors to 5. However, an additional building plan approval for the extra 2 floors, must be sought and obtained, before the extra floors are added.

The onus is on the Structural Engineer to do the calculations to ensure that the existing structure can carry the additional load. However, in practice, staff of the Building Authorities that look the other way, permit these additions to be implemented, while assessments, regularisation and obtaining the approval for the additions are done later.

This practice must be curtailed, as it has resulted in several building collapses. Property owners should be careful of who they give out their projects to. To avoid building collapse, due diligence should be done. It is better to employ contractors based on referrals and their credibility. Contractors also popularly known for quality can be approached in cases where personal investigation cannot be conducted.

In conclusion, if we take proactive measures, we can drastically reduce the frequency of building collapses in Nigeria if not totally eradicate it. We only need to make simple changes and we will be on our way to having better buildings.

Affa Dickson Acho

Six reasons why a building may collapse

Buildings collapse due to wide range of reasons. These include natural disasters such as cyclones, hurricanes and the like. However, these causes are not usually related to the African experience. The causes of building collapse are mostly man made, and so, we can say to a large extent, that man is the architect of his own undoing.

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  1. Weak Foundation

One cannot build a house on a shaky foundation.

There are two things to consider in building foundations. The first is the solidity of the soil. The solidity of the soil determines the strength of the foundation, and great care has to be taken in building on weaker soil to avoid building collapse.  For instance, the specifications of foundation in a swampy area would be stronger than a region where the soil is hard.

Thus, construction professionals should take this point into consideration to ensure the foundation is properly done in order to ensure long lasting structures and preserve lives and property.

The second point to consider is the heaviness of the building. For instance, a building such as a multi-level car park would require a stronger foundation than a simple two bedroom flat designed to accommodate two people, because the weight the building is designed to carry has to be taken into consideration when erecting the foundation.

  1. Design Inadequacies

Another reason buildings fall is as a result of the failure to follow structural designs. Before a building is erected, there are structural plans and designs set up to serve as a guide for building among other reasons. When the plan is not properly followed, it could lead to structural lapses which may ultimately lead to collapse. It is important to follow the structural designs, and make proper adjustments where necessary on paper and when erecting the building.

  1. Poor Workmanship

Construction is more often than not left in the hands of unskilled and incompetent construction personnel. Unskilled labourers are bound to make mistakes in the building process, especially in mixing ratios. These mistakes caused by unskilled workers may lead to a host of problems that may lead to collapse. Invest in trained professionals to give you a long lasting structure, so pay now and reap later.

  1. Wrong Building Use

There are instances the building is used for purposes beyond the original intention. For instance, if the local shopping complex in the scenario above was originally designed to be a three bedroom family bungalow, and subsequently changed to a three story commercial building housing various businesses such as  beauty salons, hardware stores and a nightclub, collapse was bound to happen, as the building was carrying  a load beyond its original capacity.

  1. Substandard and Counterfeit Building Materials

Substandard and counterfeit materials are the bane of any structure’s existence. The market is full of building materials of different levels of quality, and sometimes it may take a trained eye to spot the difference between original and counterfeit products (See note #3). However, many choose to purchase substandard materials in order to shave building costs, and that saved cost today may lead to a collapsed building in the future. Be wise and buy high quality building materials.

  1. Failure to Enforce Building Regulations

A major problem in the construction sector is that the lack of proper regulation. Some builders erect substandard buildings without proper approval, and where approval is obtained, deviate from the previously approved plan.

Government bodies, stakeholders, building and construction professionals have a huge responsibility to regulate the industry by enforcing building codes and regulations, conducting building and soil strength tests, sealing off buildings that are not built according to plan, and cracking down on unqualified construction professionals. This step will improve and regulate the building and construction sector, and lower the rate of building collapses.

 

Building a house takes time, money, effort. However, failure to do things the right way may lead to the misfortune of any builder- cleaning up the ruins of a house he has taken time, treasure and talent to build. In the light of this, it is important to take the above steps into consideration in order to build structures that are long lasting and do not pose risks to the things and people sheltered within them.

SOURCE: eazyhc.com

Reps charges NBBRI to stop building collapse in Nigeria

The House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology has urged the Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), to end incessant building collapses and grow the country through research innovations.

The Committee speaking through its Chairman, Beni Lar, during an oversight function visit to NBRRI on Wednesday, in Ota, Ogun State, said the efforts of the Institute in that direction will be appreciated.

The committee noted that NBRRI was well positioned to provide the nation with technological researches/innovations on buildings to end the incidence of building collapses in the country.

According to Lar, the Committee was in the Institute to find out information about; general implementation Level of 2018 Appropriation for the NBRRI; expenditure warrant for Personnel, overhead and capital, and total amount cash backed for the said subheads and period; percentage implementation of all projects.

Other things it wants to find include; internal revenue generation of the agency, if any; any on-going projects and level of implementation; and the personnel emolument payroll.

She said the visit provides opportunity for the committee to interact and cross-fertilise ideas with the agency regarding its challenges and constraints with a view to charting a sustainable road map for the development of the institute.

“The intention is to use the opportunity to oversight activities of the institute in respect of the 2018 budget implementation as it concerns recurrent and capital releases/implementation thereto.

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“Judging from the 2017 oversight visit to your agency, the committee commended the giant strides achieved by the institute in the area of converting waste to wealth as epitomised by the development of Pozzolana Pilot Cement Plant products.

“The economic landscape of the world is undergoing remarkable changes, which is creating considerable opportunities and new challenges through science and technology. As a nation, we have all it takes to enter into the arena of the global community dominated by a deluge of innovations in science and technology.

“Considering the rich human and material resources of the nation, what we need to keep at par with the international community is to set our priority right, by recognising the place of science and technology and its integration in our national life,” she said.

Lar reiterated the commitment of the committee to continue collaborating with the professionals in the built environment, urging NBRRI to enhance its activities and productivity.

Earlier, Prof. Danladi Matawal, the Director-General of NBRRI, appealed for the review and speed passage of the NBRRI Act before the National Assembly, saying that it was the only flagship project initiated by the Institute.

Matawal stressed the need for the committee to approve the 2019 Research Institute Game programme. He assured the Committee of the agency’s commitment towards development of research innovations that would enhance development of the building industry and economic growth of the country.

Source: Maduka Nweke

11 Trapped as Building Collapses in Anambra

No fewer than 11 persons were trapped under a three-storey building which collapsed in Nnewi, Anambra in the early hours of Thursday.

The building was located in Okpuno, Otolo, in Nnewi North Local Government Area of the state.

Mohammed Haruna, the police spokesperson who confirmed the incident, said the building belonged to one Collins Avoyi.

Mr Haruna said nine of the trapped persons have been rescued and taken to hospital while effort was on to get the remaining two out of the rubbles.

He said the trapped workers included foreign masons from the Republic of Togo.

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“A three storey building belonging to one Mr Avoyi Collins collapsed at Okpuno Otolo in Nnewi North LGA of Anambra.

“Police Patrol rushed to the scene and cordoned off the area to prevent looters from taking advantage of the situation to steal.

“So far, nine of them were rescued alive from the collapsed building while efforts are ongoing to rescue two others who are still trapped inside the debris.

“Meanwhile, the rescued victims were rushed to the Community Health Center, Okpuno for medical attention and investigation is ongoing to ascertain circumstances surrounding the incident,” he said.

Source: Premium Times

Operators fault government’s infrastructure financing involvement

 

CIS pledges advocacy role to boost bourse

Capital market operators have faulted government’s level of financial involvement in the provision of critical infrastructure, urging them to focus more on the formulation and implementation of policies that will impact positively on the lives of the people.

The operators, who gave the advice during the 22nd yearly conference of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), in Lagos, at the weekend, argued that balanced approach would help to boost production in the country and generate more employment for the rising youth population.

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Specifically, the Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, John Chukwu, said the need for government to show less involvement in the financing of key infrastructure, as well as allow the private sector to mobilise capital to fund these key infrastructure has become imperative.

“Government should concern itself in policy formulation and implementation of programmes that will transform the living standard of the people. There is still abject poverty in the country, as parents cannot afford to send their children to school and have quality education.

“In fact, there is lack of manpower in the education sector and government should find a way of boosting the sector,” he said.

The Chairman, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Chief Patrick Ezeagu, pointed out that “government has no business being in business.”

“The provision of infrastructure is key, but the financing should be driven by the private sector. There should be Public Private Partnership, PPP in this key infrastructure so that government can pay more attention to the provision of enabling environment that will strive investment and production.

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“Also, government should pay attention to policies that will transform the economy faster. Imagine, a key government agency, SEC without substantive Director General and Board. How can the foreign investors take the capital market serious?”, he said

The Presidential aide on Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Jumoke Oduwale, however, assured that government is doing everything within its powers to address some of the economic problems facing the country.

She said: “The Economic Recovery Growth Plan has helped in taking Nigeria out of recession in the short term. It has also helped to bring down inflation, though with marginal growth. It is helping in providing jobs through the provision of infrastructure and alleviating poverty among others.”

The President of CIS, Adedapo David Adekoje, said CIS operates in full partnership with the best known international professional bodies in Securities and Investment in the world.

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He pointed out that as a mark of recognition of the institute’s high professional and examination standards, the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, United Kingdom (CISI-UK), with effect from this year, will grant full membership (MCSI) to Fellows and Associates of our institute.”

“The Institute has always made it a cardinal responsibility to bring its rich intellectual resources to bear and serve as a strong advocacy platform to guide policy makers at all levels of government and the organised private sector in forging a strong and robust economy, especially from the perspective of the financial services sector,” he added.

Helen Oji

Ogun community panic as gully ‘swallows’ 50 houses

• Eight landlords reportedly died from shock
• We are helpless – Ogun govt

Owakurudu community in the Ijebu Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State is becoming deserted due to a gully that is eating into the community.

It was learnt that no fewer than 50 houses had fallen into the gully reportedly created by an abandoned water channelisation project of the state government.

About eight landlords, who owned houses in the area, reportedly died from shock after their houses fell into the gully.

When news men visited the community on Tuesday, he observed as some tenants packed their belongings, preparing to vacate another house under threat of falling a prey to the gully.

it was noted that parts of a few houses had fallen into the gully, while their owners rehabilitated the remaining part to make them habitable.

Some landlords, who spoke to newsmen, said the state government was responsible for their predicament.

One of them, Alhaji Tunde Agbonmabiwon, who took news men round to see the damage to his bungalow, said he had been living in the area for about 27 years.

He said, “I have been living in my house since 1991. There was no problem then. I have all my documents intact, including the certificate of occupancy, survey and building plan.

“When I moved in, the pit was just about two feet wide. But the government, during a road rehabilitation, decided to channel all the water of Ijebu Ode through our community.

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“Whenever it rains, we become afraid because the water pours in torrents. For about two to three hours after it must have stopped raining, floodwater will still be pouring through here.”

A 74-year-old landlord, Adesanwo Maseka, whose tenants had vacated his building, said he was losing hope.

Maseka noted that promises made by government officials had gone unfulfilled.

He said, “We called the attention of the Federal Government to it in 2008; a minister and the Awujale of Ijebuland, accompanied by other traditional rulers and chiefs, came for an on-the-spot assessment. We went to the house of former Governor Gbenga Daniel when he was still in charge of Ogun State and he asked us to weed the bushes and consider the job done. We called all kinds of people and government agencies, including the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority and their officials, came to survey and have meetings with us. Nothing came out.

“What we are suffering is no fault of ours. The state government diverted water into our community. When I came here in 1985, I used to cross through this space to other streets. But now, see what has happened.

“All the houses on this line that have caved in, their landlords died from this problem. There are eight of them, including Odunaya, Eshin Funfun, Badejo, Baba Nepa, Baba Nubi and Ogunjirin. Look at what has happened to me as well, is this not enough to kill me? I am 74 years old. What other work can I do with my life? All the things I gathered in my lifetime are falling apart before my eyes.”

Another resident and community leader, Tola Ogunbanjo, said although the erosion damage extended to Imoru Road, the community was the worst hit.

“About 50 houses have fallen into the gully. A large poultry farm owned by a retired principal of the Ijebu Ode Grammar School, Mr Oluwole Kujore, had also gone into it,” he added.

The chairman of the landlords, Adegbesan Adeshina, said the state government should take responsibility for what had befallen the residents and remedy it.

He said, “I bought my land in 1984 and I packed into my house in 1987. As of then, there was no gutter, except that rainwater passed here until the government diverted the water to our area. The water came in through Logun Filling Station, where the government stopped and abandoned their channelisation project. We are victims of the haphazard job of the ministries of works and the environment. This is pure government negligence. And we have written to both federal and state governments since 2002 without any result.

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“In 2016 when Governor Ibukunle Amosun held a budget briefing, I told him to help us and that six landlords had died as of then due to the problem. He said he had seen some officials at Abuja and they were coming to address it. Nothing has been done till today. I lost N3.5m fish investment here last year, including a pond worth over N2m.”

Our correspondent obtained copies of letters sent to the state Governor, Amosun; the Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency; the Managing Director, Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority; the Permanent Secretary, Ogun State Ministry of the Environment.

The letter addressed to Amosun and dated July 24, 2018, was written by a group, Justice Development and Peace Commission, Catholic Diocese of Ijebu Ode, on behalf of the community.

The group, in the letter signed by its Deputy Director, Disu Ireti, said after it visited Owakurudu in January 2015, it wrote the state ministry of environment and called its attention to the plight of the residents.

It said that in October 2015, a team from the ministry visited and promised to provide a “lasting solution to the sufferings of the community,” adding that nothing was done.

“On behalf of the community, we, however, request the following measures/interventions to mitigate the sufferings of the people:

“Provision of a drainage for Owakurudu erosion and such other professional intervention that would provide a lasting solution to the sufferings of the people; dredging of Owa River and provision of a drainage on the left and right sides,” the letter read in part.

The Ogun State Commissioner for the Environment, Bolaji Oyeleye, said the matter had been taken to the federal level, adding that it was beyond the state government.

He said, “We have approached the Ecological Funds Office in that regard and we have also reached out to the Federal Ministry of the Environment to come to the assistance of the state. It is a project that we at the state level cannot face head-on; we need some form of intervention at the federal level. Even the last time we had a council on the environment last year, the council visited the site and took note of what was there. The council took it up to reach out on behalf of the state to the federal government.”

Oyeleye said the state had yet to get anything from the federal government.

The Minister for Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Raji Fashola, did not pick his calls and had yet to respond to a text message from our correspondent as of press time.

Samson Folarin

BUILDING COLLAPSE IN NIGERIA: CAUSES & REMEDY

 

The spates of building collapse in Nigeria in the past years have assumed a very worrisome dimension as many lives are lost and huge investments wasted. A building, once properly constructed is expected to be in use for a very long time. Although every society has its own problems and Nigeria is not an exception yet the very recent challenges of buildings collapsing in various locations have been giving the various arms of government and the people of Nigeria sleepless nights in view of the enormous loss of huge investments in housing.

In Recent times, Nigeria has witnessed issues of building collapse resulting in death of hundreds of its citizens. Most prominent of these include the Jabi Building Collapse of August 17th, The Synagogue Church of all nation guest house collapse of September 2014 and the Reigners Bible Church building collapse at Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria amongst many others with a combined death of over 300.

Below are some underlining and avoidable causes of these saddening occurrences which if properly taken into consideration can bring about a stop to this menace.

1. Structural Design Handled by quacks
Building designs are usually handled by qualified structural engineers who are normally trained and certified by relevant professional bodies like NISE and COREN. This is a fundamental aspect of every building and construction process. Absence of these means a lot can go wrong from the very beginning and cause structural damages that can lead to loss of life and other un-intended consequences.

2. Absence of Soil Test
The importance of soil test in any building and construction activity cannot be over emphasized. Soil test enables the builders to determine soil strata, foundation type and where to lay the foundation for the building proper.
Places like Lagos has swampy grounds and many estates are built on recovered grounds. These means that the foundation of such buildings needs to be strong and carried out after a proper soil test. Absence of this has led to many avoidable building collapses that we have witnessed in this part of the world in recent times.

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3. Lack of adherence to building specification by personnel
Every building and construction project has sets of design specifications that professionals ought to adhere to. Some of these design specifications includes Architectural Design, Mechanical and Engineering Design, Structural Design and the Survey plan. Adhering to the specifications contained within these documents will ensure that the building comes out exactly the way it should and is not subjected to abuse by future builders.

4. The use of sub-standard building materials
This is a very important factor which is all about actual implementation of all that is contained within the building and construction design documents. The lure of shortcuts and greed to make quick gains, has lead to the rise in the use of sub-standard building materials by building contractors which has contributed to a great extent, in re-occurrence of building collapses in recent times. This can be checkmated through the implementation of proper quality control by project site supervisors.


5. Professional Negligence
By professionals we refer to the builders, the town planers, the estate surveyors, the architect, the engineers, the quantity surveyors and all who are trained and directly involved in the entire construction process. Professional negligence hinders work progress, causes improper documentation, non-compliance to all necessary requirement and ultimately compromises standards.

A scenario where the design and materials needed for the projects are all in place but the workers find’s themselves making one mistake to the other due to absent of trained /skilled professionals and lack of synergy between all involved in carrying out the building process depicts a good example of professional negligence.

Synergy between building professionals is very vital as it will bring to reality the ideas of the client. It will also ensure proper checks and balances required to carry out proper work and that workers in the lower end of the construction process use the right materials and in the right ways.

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6. Bad Construction practices
All that we have listed above so far, amounts to bad construction practices it now left for Building professionals to adhere to the standards of the industry and for the industry regulators to do their job, in ensuring that every building and construction projects in this part of world, follows all the rules within its book. Doing this will not only ensure we all live in safety, but save the nation of needless and preventable lost of life’s that we witness on a daily basis in this part of the world.

NBRRI COMMENTS ON JABI BUILDING COLLAPSE

 

Yesterday Friday 17th August 2018 at about 14.00hrs or 2pm, NBRRI was alerted about a building collapse at IT Igbani/NBRRI road, Off Obafemi Awolowo road, Jabi – Abuja. Because we have continuously used this route to the new NBRRI Head Office and Abuja Laboratories at 10 IT Igbani/NBRRI road, we have seen the structure always but since it is no one’s business to stray into someone else’s premises, it barely caught anyone’s attention.

On getting to Site at about 2.15pm, we noticed the building in a pile of rubble with rescue workers that arrived earlier struggling to remove debris to rescue lives with hand and crude tools. We sympathize with the families of those who lost loved ones and pray for speedy recovery of those injured.

The building is a framed structure of 4-storeys which had been left temporarily abandoned for some 15-years, so we learnt. This year there was resumption of construction work on Site which had been ongoing at the time of collapse. Our clear unequivocal opinions based on visual and physical inspections at the fresh accident Site are:

1. Based on the length of time that the structure was left abandoned, resumption of work on Site should have been preceded by integrity tests and some remediation done on concrete elements whose concrete deteriorated under years of carbonation resulting in the leaching out of bonding mortar.
2. As the electronic media (television and social network) would have captured in their recordings, there has been total disintegration and dissociation of concrete from the steel reinforcements pointing to a notion that the concrete used was weak and did not develop sufficient bond to act in unison as a composite single element to resist relative sliding between steel and concrete.

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3. Incidentally some NBRRI Staff have said they had taken note of the unusually slender column support elements and that these were being knocked recklessly with no due regard to their functions that could impair their load carrying capacity and induce a collapse at any time.
4. NBRRI in many previous reports has highlighted the unprofessional use of sandcrete blocks to beef up columns and beams in their structural roles. It has worked but is not necessary and in this building, a pure structural framing construction was commendably done but unfortunately structurally incompetent leading to failure.
5. Because of rescue operations, NBRRI has no way of inspecting the foundations to ascertain if they have a blame in the failure. In due course, attempts will be made to inspect the foundations and form an opinion.
6. There was evidence of both fresh and new concrete on site inferring that work was ongoing at the time of construction. Unfortunately, both hardened and fresh concrete spilled and disintegrated during collapse.

7. The Director of Development Control of FCT was present on Site and was advised to arrest the Owner of the Building as well as the Contractor and Professional team of Architects, Builders and Engineers, if they exist at all, because some Building Owners are their own engineers relying heavily on quackery for implementation.
8. NBRRI has a 5-story building not far from the collapsed Site and a lot of care was taken when construction was restarted after 12-years of abandonment to inject fresh cement mortar into all concrete elements including floors and beams to rejuvenate lost capacity resulting from years of carbonation and leaching of mortar.

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9. Every Site abandoned for years must be reassessed, redesigned and the structural competency assured before resumption of further construction.
10. NBRRI experience has revealed that Building Service Workers for Electricity, Water and Sewage Disposal as well as ICT lines are very unsympathetic to structural integrity. They drill small and large holes through very sensitive and intensely loaded beams and columns with no idea that it could collapse on them because they are undermining stability. They undermine foundations for services and weaken footings through ground softening by directing precipitation to excavations beneath buildings with no idea what dangers their activities pose.
11. A journalist asked me whether this has not represented failure on our part for past efforts and I told him a definite NO because our interventions over the years have produced numerous results.
12. Even though we must develop zero-tolerance to Building, Bridge collapses and Road failures, nonetheless the last Building collapse recorded in Abuja is some 4-years ago somewhere in Gwarinpa Extension or thereabouts which we investigated. Building collapses have gone down from 33no in one year (2012) in Lagos and 22no in Abuja in 2012 to almost zero. This is the first collapse brought to NBRRI attention this year in Nigeria.


13. The supervision of buildings is the square responsibilities of Municipal Development Control departments in cities and states who must be on their toes in regulating development as well as actively punishing offenders to act as deterrent for the future.
13. NBRRI and R&D outfits, especially Universities, and Professional Regulators such as COREN, ARCON, TOPREC, etc, are available to control practice and to provide scientific, technical and professional benchmarking for guidance. It is up to Municipal Control Authorities to institute checks and balances for practice within their domains, be it in Abuja, Lagos, Jos, Kano, Portharcout, Onitsha or any place in this country at all.
14. It is important to advice all developers to harness and use the services of intelligent and experienced registered professionals on their structures and avoid cutting corners in reinforcements and concreting; but most importantly to ensure that the foundations are properly designed and constructed based on proper field investigations. Using good artisans and craftsmen that are well informed, which comes primarily at the construction stage, is also useful because they could raise alert at flaws in design and construction sequence, procedure and optimal use of materials to avert shoddy works.

15. Government, Private Investors and all should strive to support more funding support for R&D, especially to take NBRRI to a pinnacle of service and contribution to raising construction and the built environment to making Nigeria an autonomous, giant and proud economy amongst the comity of nations worldwide. Thank you.

Engr Professor Danladi S MATAWAL, fnse, faeng, fnice.
Director-General/CEO, Nigerian Building & Roads Research Institute, NBRRI-FMST, Abuja.

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