Safety Concerns Mounts As With The Report Of 41 Building Collapses In 17 Months


Over the last 17 months, the Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineers (NICE) has recorded 41 building failures in Nigeria. Professionals and the public are seriously concerned about this because there are typically more than two collapses per month.


Virgilus Ezugu, the National Chairman of NICE, disclosed these figures at a workshop in Abuja. The workshop, titled “Stemming the Tide of Building Collapse Menace in Nigeria,” was organised to address the growing issue.


Ezugu emphasised that building collapses have become a major embarrassment to the construction sector. He stressed that NICE has a responsibility to protect lives and property, prompting the organisation to take action.


In 2023, NICE established a committee dedicated to preventing building collapses. This committee has been actively collecting data on incidents since January 2023 and devising strategies to combat the issue.


The collected data revealed that over 50 percent of building collapses go unreported, making the actual situation even more dire. NICE has pledged to tackle this problem head-on through comprehensive training and preventive measures.


The workshop also featured a keynote address by Samson Duna, CEO of the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI). Duna attributed many of the collapses to the use of substandard materials and other avoidable factors.


Duna pointed out that 80 percent of building collapses occur during the rainy season, exacerbated by natural causes and poor-quality materials. He called for improved training for engineers and construction professionals.


He also urged both the government and professional bodies to educate the public on proper building practices. Ensuring that monitoring and supervision are integral parts of construction projects is crucial.


Sadiq Abubakar, President of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), highlighted the need for collaboration among stakeholders to address this challenge. COREN has set up ten committees to examine various sectors of the industry.


Margaret Oguntala, President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), urged engineers to strictly adhere to safety and reliability principles. She stressed the importance of continuous professional development and rigorous application of engineering standards to prevent further collapses.

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