The immediate past Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Professor Olusola Kolapo Eleka, a royal father, Oba Solomon Adedire; a university don, Prof. Akeem Raheem and other professionals have decried activities of unqualified people handling construction projects in the country.
They spoke during the Second Builders’ Day and the investituture of new Executive Council members of the Oyo State chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) at the Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Ibadan.
The programme with the theme:”Professional Builders’ Engagement in Building Production”, attracted many professionals from far and wide.
In his lecture, Raheem, who is a Professor of Building in the Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, highlighted corruption, technical factors, non-engagement of professionally qualified person to manage construction projects , and a host of others as causes of building collapse in Nigeria.
The university don therefore emphasized the need for the government to fight corruption and engage professionally qualified persons to manage sites in order to curb incidences of building collapse.
In a remark, the Oyo State Chairman of NIOB, Dr. Akeem Wahab, said the day was being marked to commemorate the March 13, 2019 ill-fated building collapse at Ita Faaji in Lagos Island which claimed many lives and destroyed property.
The chairman lamented that the incident happened because the professionals were not allowed to be in charge of building production.
Dr. Wahab said it was a reflection of misnormal and ineptitude in the industry. The body is not happy with the situation.
Another guest lecturer, the Onifegunwa of Ifegunwa, Ilode in Ife -East Local Government Area of Osun State, Oba Solomon Adedire, described activities of quack in building construction.
While pointing out that activities of quacks are better imagined than experienced, Oba Adedire who is also a registered builder said:” A doctor can kill one person but a quack builder can kill many persons”.
He added:”A builder must be a member of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) and Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON).
Eleka, who was a guest lecturer at the event said:”Construction itself is a process that involves many professionals. If you don’t involve the professionals that are supposed to be there you are going to have substandard implementation and eventually you are going to have a substandard building. That is why all the needed professionals should be actively involved in the construction process.
“It should start with, in the Oyo State Ministry of Works and Transport , all the professionals should be adequately represented. We should have builders, architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, estate surveyors, town planners in different and relevant departments. In a situation where you have very few builders, then the question arises, who are who will be government representatives monitoring construction works all round? Builders are experts in building production management. If any other professional is involved in building production management is acting like a quack.
“So, I want to encourage the government to take a statistics of the professionals in the employ of government and then where there are deficiencies, they should fill the gap”.
The former governor also urged the state government to create an agency for the regulation of building construction.
He said :”Today, we are talking about building collapsing. Lives are being lost. Today we are celebrating the second edition of Builders’ Day to remember what happened on March 13, 2019 when a building was converted to a school and it collapsed and 21 pupils died and many people sustained injuries.
“Right from there, the Lagos State Government deemed it fit and relaunched Building Regulations Law that led to the establishment of Lagos State Building Control Agency and in that law all contractors are mandated to employ a registered builder on their site to oversee the production process.
“When you have shoddy job being done and building production not being manned by appropriate professional, you will have shoddy job and we would have defective work which will eventually lead to collapse. That is why we are also imploring the Oyo State Government to take a cue from Lagos State Government and Ogun State Government and also put in place a mechanism that will lead to the establishment of an Oyo State Building Control Agency. That could be done by enacting Oyo State Building Regulation Law. I know over Governor Makinde encourages professionalism”.
Governor Makinde who was represented by the state’s Commissioner of Public Works, Infrastructure and Transport, Prof. Kehinde Sangodoyin, said builders are involved enormous facilities being built in the state.
The governor added that builders are partners in progress in executing the ongoing projects in the state.
“Let me give you the example of our four terminal buses which are of world-class standard. Permit me to tell you that before the end of this year, Governor Seyi Makinde will commission these four projects”, Makinde disclosed.
Also, Engr. Miss Barakat Adesina who is the Chief Executive Officer of Glizt Paints in her lecture stressed the need for the engagement of qualified professionals in all aspects of building production management.