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ARCON demands investigation into collapsed building project at Unilag

Lagos – Following a partially collapsed section of a building under construction located within the University of Lagos (Unilag), Akoka campus last week, the Architect Registration Council (ARCON) visited the site seeking for a full investigation.

The visit was to get first-hand information on the incident.

The varsity’s on-going building project that experienced the partial collapse is a seven-storey project, being proposed as a new library located beside the institution’s bookshop and adjacent to Mariere Hall which is a stone throw from the Senate Building.

While the construction was on-going, part of the building was said to have collapsed, though no life was lost.

As part of its mandate, ARCON led by its president, Arc (Sir) Dipo Ajayi, swung into action, visited the site but could not gain access.

However, Ajayi, alongside with ARCON’s members including Architects Kayode Anibaba, Adebayo Dipe, and Ladipo Lewis met with the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who briefed ARCON’s members on the incident.

Briefing the Council, the VC said that immediately the collapse occurred the site was sealed off, saying there was no loss of life in the accident.

According to Ogundipe, following the incident, the Chairman of the Council, Dr. Wale Babalakin has been notified and he is taking charge of further actions on the project and investigations.

Findings revealed that ATO Architects, Architects; Landmark, structural engineers; Tuber Consult, quantity surveyors; IFC, mech and elect; CPMS, project manager and Dutum Company Limited, main contractor were the consultants on the project.

Ogundipe stated that the Federal Executive Council under Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) awarded the contract, adding that it was a fixed contract with counterpart funding from Unilag.

The VC notified the panel of his observations of the contractor and his inadequacies, and slow pace of work on the project.

Reacting, the ARCON President asked if the consultants on the project were all registered consultants, with the project having APRN registration.

The President also asked about the tests, reports, and approvals at various stages of construction, the Vice Chancellor noted these are given to the Director of works.

Furthermore, ARCON President among other issues spoke about soil test, foundation design, type of pilling or raft and sought to know if the building had planning approval which should include the involvement of Unilag staff in the procurement and contract supervision.

The VC who disclosed that the collapse occurred during casting at midday called for another visit to the site, saying that the institution was not prepared for the team as it compulsory that the Chairman of Council be given a notice.

Though the university said a panel on an inquiry into the incident had been set up to carry out an investigation into the immediate and remote cause(s) on the collapse, ARCON President requested that an ARCON Council member in the person of Arc Dipe be part of the panel.

At the end of the meeting, the university’s Director of Works, Engr. Babatunde Oloko led the ARCON team to the site of the collapsed building as they observed what was left of the building from the sealed gate.

However, the team agreed to reconvene today Monday after which the Chairman of Council, Dr. Wale Babalakin would have been briefed and provide access to the site.

Credit: Independent News

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