FCTA defends N40bn 2018 budget

THE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has defended its 2018 Budget proposal of N40, 297,122,872.00 before the Senate.

Making the presentation to the Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT) at the National Assembly, the minister of FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello said the proposal was in accordance with the N40.3 billion envelope given to the FCT as its National Priority Budget by the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

He said 27 critical infrastructure projects totalling N40,297,122.27 have been prioritized for action under the proposal.

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These, according to him, include the B6, B12 and Circle roads traversing the National Stadium, Villa and back to the Stadium; the Greater Abuja Water Works project as well as the Extension of Inner Southern Expressway (Is3x) from the Central Bank/National Christian Centre to Galadimawa Roundabout.

Provisions totalling N1.2 billion were also made for in infrastructure development at major satellite towns of Kubwa, Karshi and Bwari to help stave off the weight of expansion being witnessed in the city, while major utilities and social services covering education, water supply and security at the UN building have been effectively provided for.

“This is what has been given to us and based on that and in line with our desire to first and foremost continue existing critical infrastructural projects and also highlight one or two that have the potential of giving the greatest benefits to the largest number of people, we highlighted a total of 27 projects which we hope, if this distinguished committee passes, will enable us to continue many infrastructure projects and hopefully get some of them out of the budget.” He explained.

The minister disclosed that the N40.3 billion FCT 2018 budget was an improvement on the N30.4 billion that was allocated to the FCT for capital projects in 2017. He said N12,198,561,434.40 billion representing 40.1 percent of the total sum has so far been released and expended.

Bello who described the amount as very small said it tremendously affected the ability of the FCTA to discharge many of the infrastructure projects that are ongoing. He expressed his appreciation to the National Assembly for extending the window of expenditure for the 2017 Budget and stated that it will allow for more releases to be made to offset some critical infrastructural bills in the FCT.

He regretted that allocations to the FCT from the Federal Government have been gradually reducing over the years due to the reduction in the revenues accruable to the Federal Government as well as the perception that the FCT is maturing and should be able to fend for itself.

He disclosed that the FCTA is working to overcome the budget shortfall through its recently reconstituted FCT Internal Revenue Service.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Dino Melaye lamented that the FCT National Priority Budget has been declining from N109 billion in the recent past to N30.4 in 2017 and N40.3 billion in 2018.

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According to him, “It is worthy of note that in 2017, out of the N30,397,122,872 budget of FCT Administration, only N12,198,561,435.40 was accessed, leaving an unreleased balance of N18,198,561,436.60.

“The budget gives a performance of 40.1 percent, while expenditure against actual release gives hundred percent performance. This is worrisome to the Committee and I’m sure to the residents of the FCT as well.” He said the Committee has resolved to better a lot of FCT residents by ensuring full implementation of the 2018 budget.” He added.

He used the occasion to appeal to the Ministers of Finance and of Budget and National Planning to consider the priority place of FCT as the national capital in allocating funds to it.

Obaseki Okays Construction Of 60 Roads

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has approved the construction of 60 roads across the state’s 18 local government areas to bring development closer to the people and open up rural communities for business activities.

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Obaseki said infrastructure development being pursued by the government would engender job creation and poverty alleviation, as 7,000 youths would be engaged during the roads construction.

Obaseki, represented by Taiwo Akerele, his Chief of Staff, during the inspection of ongoing road construction at Ogunmwenyin community, Lucky Way, Osayande Ize-Iyamu Drive and Nneka Street in Ugbor Village, said, “The roads to be constructed are semi-rural/urban roads, ranging from one kilometre to 1.5 kilometres. The effort is geared towards deepening the spread of economic enablers to engender development.”


The inspection train also got to Amagba Community, where the governor assured of the re-construction of the major road, noting: “We don’t talk too much, but we assure you that the construction of Amagba Road will commence soon.

“In road construction, there are procurement processes and procedures that are involved and must be followed. By the time these processes and procedures are completely addressed, the construction of other roads will commence, as contractors will be mobilised to site.”

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Obaseki explained that the focus on constructing rural roads was to open new areas for enhanced economic activity and improved livelihoods for the people, especially agrarian communities, from where people need to move agro-produce to cities.

“The road construction will reduce the level of poverty in rural areas, as the construction of roads will open the areas for economic activities,” he said.

He said the inspection exercise was to ensure that contractors handling the projects work in accordance with specification.

“The communities where roads are being constructed must ensure that the projects are protected. The state government will sign a Community Action Agreement (CAA) with communities where projects are sited, and failure to ensure the protection of projects will mean no additional project will be sited in such places.

“We are not only interested in building infrastructure in the state, but also developing human capacity. One hundred and eighty-eight direct jobs have been created through the construction of the one kilometre road project in Ogunmwenyin community,” he said.

Nigeria’s Population Now 198m, Country 7th Largest Globally Says NPC,

The National Population Commission (NPC) has put Nigeria’s current population at 198 million people with urban population growing at an average annual growth rate of about 6.5 per cent Chairman of NPC, Mr Eze Duruiheoma, stated this in New York while delivering Nigeria’s statement on Sustainable Cities, Human Mobility and International Migration at the 51st Session of Commission on Population and Development. Duruiheoma said: “Nigeria remains the most populous in Africa, the seventh globally with an estimated population of over 198 million.

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“The recent World Population Prospects predicts that by 2050, Nigeria will become the third most populated country in the world. “Over the last 50 years, the Nigeria’s urban population has grown at an average annual growth rate of more than 6.5 per cent without commensurate increase in social amenities and infrastructure. ”It grew substantially from 17.3 in 1967 to 49.4 per cent in 2017. In addition, the 2014 World Urbanisation Prospects report, predicts that by 2050, most of the population – 70 per cent – will be residing in cities.

”The 2010 human mobility Survey report revealed that 23 per cent of the sampled population were of more females than males” He said the category of population mostly engaged in urbanisation and migration were young people of teenage and adolescents’ girls and boys, women of child bearing age and the working age population. He said existing urbanisation trend coupled with internally displaced persons (IDPs) in cities, pose critical challenges to securing sustainability of our cities, including efforts to make them smart and responsive to human influx.

The Displacement Tracking Matrix round XXI of January 2018 identified estimated 1.7 million IDPs in over 321,580 households across six states of North-East Nigeria with 40 per cent residing in camp-like settings in urban areas plus 1.4 million returnees. ”The number of IDPs represented 4.5 per cent increase compared to the 1,702,680 identified in Round XX (Dec. 2017).” Duruiheoma said like in other developing countries, Nigerian cities hosted wide spread poverty, under-employment and unemployment at an average of 18.4 per cent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics 2017 report. The NPC boss bemoaned the insecurity and inadequate and inequitable health care services for adolescents and women of child bearing age. ”Nigeria continues to commit to solving the challenges of insurgents in the Northeast, which has induced a high number of internally displaced persons.

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“We acknowledge that women, children and particularly the girl child are often the most vulnerable in these displacements, and in this regard, we remain focused on the wellbeing of these vulnerable parts of our population.We are committed to providing adequate health care services, reducing maternal mortality, rebuilding safe schools and empowering our women, ensuring no one is left behind in terms of achieving sustainable development.”

Duruiheoma said these challenges adversely impacted on the quality of life and standards of living of the urban populace. According to him, Nigeria stays committed to the twin goals of the Habitat Agenda – adequate shelter for all and the development of sustainable human settlements in an urbanising world.

Infrastructure: Experts Urge Efficient Facility Management System

Experts in the built environment have advocated for efficient facility management system as a means of sustaining national infrastructure across the country. Speaking to Housing News in Abuja, vice chairman of Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), Bldr.

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Samson Opaluwah noted that the cycle of failure of national infrastructure and facilities soon after commissioning could only be prevented by introducing efficient facility management system. He pointed out that the days of relying solely on maintenance management is over adding that part of the indices of measuring people’s civilization are their regeneration and sustainability profile. Opaluwah wondered how Nigeria could break away from underdevelopment when the leadership failed to focus on sustainable developments. He said though the proceeds from the sales of oil were largely invested on infrastructure that Nigerians are yet to reap commensurate returns given the absence of efficient management plans even as he called for an urgent action to reverse what he described as ‘ugly trend’.

“The world has moved on and we need multidisciplinary competency to stay afloat and be relevant because some professions will soon be lost to information technology as their expertise can be obtained by the click of a bottom. Let’s arise and jumpstart our development by acquiring current technologies and move on”, he added. The vice chairman enjoined professionals to adapt to the realities of the changing world and new technologies adding that they should not stick to 1970s technology and ideas in today’s emerging world without enrolling for fresh training. While noting that the built environment industries are the bane of national development, he maintained that the failure of other sectors could be traced to the improper structuring of the built environment components.

On his part, the managing director of Justin Okpu & Co limited, a facility management company, Prince Justin Okpu lamented that governments have often reduced the capacity and capability of growing the nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP’s) through improper management and maintenance of private and public infrastructure. He called for urgent management of national infrastructure and the need to end serial abandoned projects adding that the role of facility managers are crucial just like other members of the construction team.

Okpu debunked claims that facility management is same with property management adding that it’s a multi-disciplinary profession needed to sustain developmental efforts since the world is changing rapidly.

He said that the unnecessary bickering between facility managers and estate surveyors and valuers was irrelevant, advocating for stronger collaboration between the two professional bodies so as to sustain infrastructure in line with current economic realities. Explaining further the role of facility management, Okpu hinted that it entails managing the built environment by making it conducive and safe for people and its equipments.

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“Becoming a core facility manager requires compliant with eleven competencies in skill sets and ability such as communication; emergency fitness with business continuity; environmental stewardship/sustainability; finance & business skill; human resource factor; leadership & strategy, operations & maintenance; project management; control; real estate & property management and technology”, he said. The facility expert stated that possessing such competencies is equivalent to possessing eleven certification which is a testimony of the huge task performed in facility management.

All Abuja taxis must be air-conditioned by October — FCTA

The Transport Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has released more guidelines for passenger service (commercial) vehicles, operating within the FCT.

Kayode Opeifa, the Transport Secretary of FCTA, stated this in Abuja on Monday after a meeting with all the Licensed Taxi Operators.

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According to him, all passenger service (commercial) vehicles such as High Capacity Buses, Mini/Mid Buses, Taxis, Tricycles and Motorcycles must carry red number plates.

“All passenger service (commercial) vehicles must be registered in Abuja and must carry FCT number plate with effect from Oct. 1, 2018.

“All Taxis operating within the FCT must be air-conditioned on or before Oct. 1, 2018.

“All passenger service (commercial) vehicles must carry two (2) valid certificate of road-worthiness from FCT Computerised Roadworthy Test Centre issued in the last 9 months,’’ he said.

Mr. Opeifa said that drivers of all passenger service (commercial) vehicles must be in possession of a valid driver’s licence and must be certified by the secretariat in line with relevant FCT Regulations.

He added that owners of the Passenger Service Vehicle (PSV) must show evidence of tax payment in the FCT.

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He noted that all Taxis with Operators’ Licence were allowed to operate in any part of the FCT, including all estates, hotels and government establishments.

“The Taxis with Operator’s Licence are allowed to pick and drop off the road when properly parked and not willingly obstructing traffic within existing traffic regulation.

“Tricycles are to operate only at the designated routes as approved and assigned to the particular operator by the transportation secretariat.

“Tricycles and Motorcycles are to be operated only by riders with valid FCTA issued Riders Card,’’ he said.

He said that all commercial vehicles including High Capacity Buses, Mini/Mid Buses, Taxis, Tricycles and Motorcycles are advised to visit the nearest Department of Road Traffic Service (DRTS) office for necessary Documentation and Certification.

The Secretary warned that henceforth, issuance of Operator’s Licence would be suspended till further notice.

According to him, also, existing operators are not to admit/register any new commercial vehicle into their fleet.

“All currently registered corporate operators are to provide the Secretariat with a list of all vehicles operating under its corporate name on or before Friday, April 13, 2018 for ease of administration, road-worthiness, inspection, safety and security purposes’’ he directed.

FCTA threatens revocation of residential plots converted to clubs, others

The FCT Administration has called on operators of night clubs within residential areas in the city of Abuja to stop their activities or face revocation of their plots.
The administration said it may be forced to carry out this action because their operations have become a nuisance to the city.

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The Coodinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, Umar Shuaibu, while briefing journalists in Abuja at the weekend said, AMMC through its various departments was taking steps to address the various issues of noise pollution from lounges/night clubs as well as places of worship located within the residential areas as they were in contravention of the extant statutes and city regulations.


The coordinator added that the council has observed the increased trend of conversion of residential buildings to lounges and night clubs and on that note taken several steps to address the situation.
He said the implications were beyond noise pollution but also negative social influence on youths in areas where these lounges are located.


“On the instruction of the minister, the permanent secretary convened a meeting with some of the night club operators in Abuja who were enlightened on how the lounge/ night club activities amount to contravention of the city’s master plan, and the need to revert the use of the premises to the designated residential use as stipulated in the city’s master plan. He also gave timeframe of 30 days to the operators,” he said.

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Shuaibu further stated that according to clause 10 in the condition of Certificate of Occupancy, “a developer is not to erect or build or permit to be built on the said land building other than those permitted to be erected by virtue of the certificate of occupancy. With that, a developer is not to use the said land except for a purpose for which the space is allocated.”

FCTA Bans Night Clubs In Residential Areas

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has banned operation of night clubs within residential area within the nation’s capital, even as it has set up mobile court to prosecute offenders.

Umar Shuiabu, Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), made this known while briefing journalists in Abuja on Sunday.

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Shuiabu said that FCT Administration had to take this action due to persistent non-compliance with regulated noise levels by operators of night clubs within residential layouts.

He however stated that religious bodies, churches and mosques, were also included in this category of noise polluters, and they are to face demolition or prosecution.

He further stated that the Council was inundated with complaints from FCT residents over noise pollution, which disturbs their relaxation and sleep, especially at late night hours.


This, he said, prompted the closure of all night clubs within layouts meant for residence, warning that failure to do so would attract relevant sanctions including demolition of such illegal developments and prosecution.

“The Council has observed the increasing trend of conversion of residential buildings to lounge/night clubs and has taken several steps to address the situation. This is in recognition of the fact that the implications are beyond noise nuisance, and also include intractable traffic challenges within the precinct, and negative social influence on the psyche of youth resident in the area where these lounges are located,” he stated.

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He added that the FCTA Department of Development Control in order to deter the trend demolished a number of night clubs in the city, including De Point Lounge, hitherto located along Lungi Crescent and on Kampala Street, Cadastrat Zone A08, Wuse II district.

Shuiab added, “In order to ensure an inclusionary governance process” in managing the city, convened a meeting with majority of night club operators and owners, where the FCT Permanent Secretary, Sir. Christian Ohaa informed them that their activities were a contravention of the Abuja Master Plan, with a view to having them revert to original use as stipulated in the master plan within 30 days.”

He further buttressed that the Clause 10 in the condition of Certificate of Occupancy, a developer is not to erect or build or permit to be erected or built on the said land building other than those permitted to be erected by virtue of the certificate of occupancy nor to make or permit to be made any addition or alteration to the said building to erected or buildings already erected on the land except in accordance with plans and specifications approved by the President or the other officer appointed by the President on his behalf, in this case the Minister of FCT.

“Also a developer is not to use the said land except for the purpose for which the space is allocated,” he said.


He reaffirmed the determination of the council to be alive to its duties, adding that the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) had been mandated to “ensure strict compliance to the city regulations, serve abatement notice and shall very soon constitute mobile court to prosecute offenders where necessary.”

Dangote hailed over longest concrete road project in Nigeria

As Nigeria’s longest rigid pavement road project inches closer to completion, motorists travelling from Northern part to the South have said the road has started supporting vehicular movements across the regions. The Obajana – Kabba road in Kogi State is said to be the longest concrete road project in Nigeria. It is one of the country’s roads linking the North and the South.

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A notable businessman from the North, Mr. Ibrahim Dantsoho, 40, as well as other motorists commended the president of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, and described the project as a big relief, saying it had already eased travelling and connectivity across the regions.

Managing Director of AG-Dangote Construction Company Mr. Ashif Juma said the project would be completed as planned and that Nigerians would yearn for more of such roads when they see the difference with bituminous roads. Mr. Juma said so far 33km earthwork and 22km concrete pavement had been accomplished, noting that every care was being taken to ensure that Nigeria had a most durable road in Nigeria. He assured: “We will deliver the project by December this year. All hands are on deck” He urged ‘’Nigerian governments at all levels to switch over to construction of concrete roads instead of asphalt as it is far superior, durable and cheaper, and does not require frequent maintenance.’’ A human rights activist and consultant, Mr. Abdullahi Umar, 55, who travels through Okene in Kogi State said he now use the Obajana-Kabba road.

He called on other companies to emulate the Dangote Group. A statement from the Corporate Communications Department of the Dangote Group said: “Concrete road last longer than asphalt roads and do not have potholes. It does not require frequent maintenance as asphalt roads. It saves fuel for motorists and protects tyres from wear and tear.

‘’It is part of the Group’s determination to support government and Nigerians to grow the economy and facilitate ease of doing business.’’ It added that the Obajana-Kabba rigid pavement road project is part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) of the Dangote Group Plc.

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Worried by the huge sum of money used in road repairs, President of the Dangote Group Aliko Dangote had said plans were afoot to revolutionize Nigerian roads with concrete, stressing that resources used in road repairs and maintenance would be channeled to other more important needs of the nation.

“We are going to be building concrete roads in the country so that anytime we build a road, we do not have to go back to repair after the third raining season, but move on and use the resources to address other pressing needs of Nigeria,” Mr. Dangote said. It would be recalled that as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS), the Dangote Group had earlier commissioned the 26 km Itori-Ibese Concrete Road. At the commissioning, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, had noted that the stride by the Dangote Group demonstrated the unwavering commitments of an indigenous investor towards the industrialization of Nigeria.

Legal framework delays new building code implementation

Six months after the Federal Executive Council approved the revised National Building Code (NBC) that specified standards for the construction industry, implementation of the law is being marred by the inability to back the document with a legal framework that would aid its enforcement.

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Formally launched in 2006, the NBC is a document that was evolved just in time to proffer a lasting solution to the persistence hazardous trend in the building industry in some part of the country. This includes incessant collapse of buildings, building infernos and other built environment abuses and disasters.

These disasters come about from lack of plan of our towns and cities, use of non-professionals, insufficient referenced design standards, use of untested products and materials; so called substandard materials, and lack of adequate regulations and sanctions against offenders. The guideline, passed by the National Assembly NASS, was to be reviewed after three years.

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Specifically, under the new code, which was earlier approved by the National Council on Housing, Land and Urban Development has the headship of the building code enforcement division limited to registered architects, builders, structural, mechanical or electrical engineers, unlike in the old code, when it was open to all the registered professionals.

Also, the government, after the new wave of flooding experienced in some parts of the country, provided some specifications and guidelines to ensure safety of residents. Other issues taking into consideration include the endemic and improper housing maintenance as well as unhealthy construction practices which impact negatively on eco-balance and eco-friendliness.

Similarly, some facilities like foam plastic insulation, garage (private), gas cabinet, gas room that were not specified in the old code are well spelt out to be chiefly considered by the inspection team, who are now empowered to determine if any material or its chemical components are hazardous, thereby preventing its usage. Temporary structure, which was pegged at 60 days, is now being extended to 180 days.

The Guardian learnt that the delay has been as a result of the promoters trying to back the document with a legislation, which will make the document enforceable, especially ensuring state governments lead the drive to institutionalise it through adaptation, legislation and enforcement.

The plan is to ensure that the 36 states of the federation and Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA will adapt and adopt code, as a regulatory tool in their spheres of influence, and enacted by their respective legislatures, as part of their jurisdictional code.

The Second Vice President, Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA), Mr. Enyi Ben-Eboh said that it is necessary to come up with legal backing to the document to ensure its enforcement. According to him, when there is no law, there would not be punishment for offenders.

He explained that physical planning and development control are vested on state governments; it becomes mandatory for the state authorities to adapt and domesticate the NBC. “If it is not domesticated, it is not enforceable.”

A town planner and former President, Association of Town Planning Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON), Moses Ogunleye said that “there is the issue by some other stakeholders, including professional bodies that the document should be passed and signed as a law. The process of this has not been concluded.

“This may be part of the delay. But to me, the National Building Code need not be made a law before it can be implemented. A code is like a standard. It is a recommendation for best practice. Normally, it is a technical document on how building material, construction/ methodology and process are applied for the purpose of ensuring quality, safety and health. What each state should do is to prepare their own sub-codes to regulate building construction, “ he said.

The Chairman, National Building Code Advisory Committee, Jimoh Faworaja, an architect, had said that the consequences of an ineffective and non-operational national building code in social and economic terms are so monumental for any sane society to ignore.

His words: “The review has therefore addressed lapses noticed in the first edition with structural re-alignment and in-depth additional inputs to adequately take care of our peculiar national challenges as they relate to the built environment.”

Faworaja called for a collective effort to ensure the implementation of this document as a way of arresting the national embarrassment occasioned by the increasing cases of the built environment failures and the near dominance and takeover of the industry by quacks.

It will be recalled that in 1987, the Defunct National Council of Works and Housing directed that a National Building Code be evolved for Nigeria. All the stakeholders in the Building Industry were duly contacted for input.

Thereafter the defunct Federal Ministry of Works and Housing organised a National workshop at ASCON, Badagry – Lagos State in 1989. To further fine tune the Draft National Building Code, another workshop was held at the Gateway Hotel, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State in 1990. The product of the Ijebu-Ode Code was approved by the then National Council on Housing in 1991.

Unfortunately this document was not ratified by the then Federal Executive Council for use in the Country. The 1991 approved document was re-presented to the second National Council on Housing and Urban Development held in Port-Harcourt, November, 2005 and the Council directed that the document be widely circulated to all stakeholders for input to facilitate the production of an acceptable National Building Code.

The code was reviewed after professionals pointed out grey areas as it is based essentially on foreign codes – some of which may not have direct relevance to our environment, another salient objective of the exercise is to encourage professionals in the building industry to produce the most appropriate Code suited to our environment for subsequent use and application.

The new document is expected to open a new vista in the building industry and eliminated or reduced to the barest minimum the incidents of collapsed building in Nigeria; promote safety and qualitative housing for every Nigerian.

Besides, the main objectives is that every tier of government, (federal, state and local) must imbibe the spirit and intent of this Code. To this end, State Governments are implored to integrate the provisions of this Code into their local laws particularly those relating to Design, Construction and Maintenance (Post Construction) and efficiently monitor the implementation of the Code.

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam

One person feared dead as explosion destroys storey building in Ife

THERE was pandemonium in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, on Saturday night when an explosion destroyed a storey building, forcing residents near the scene of the incident scampered to safety, Housing News reliably gathered.

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Credible sources informed our correspondent that the incident which caused apprehension occurred around Moore area of the historic town at about 11.05 pm as most residents in the affected neighbourhood had already gone to bed.

Though details surrounding the cause of the explosion were still sketchy as of the time of filing this report, findings indicated that the blast might have been precipitated by an improvised explosive device, where one person was reportedly feared dead.

Eyewitnesses further hinted a pharmaceutical firm, identified as Ebenco Pharmacy was located inside the building destroyed by the explosion.

One of the sources, who pleaded anonymity disclosed that an unidentified man, who was critically injured at the back of the building was subsequently rushed to the Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife, where he later died early Sunday morning.


The explosion brought down the building and also damaged adjoining structures in the area, while two policemen were spotted at the scene of the incident.

Reacting to the incident during a chat with journalists in Ile-Ife, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi said there was a dispute over the building by the family members of the deceased owner, assuring that elders of Ife at the community level would intervene over the matter.

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