To curb the menace of building collapse, the Federal Government has said it would partner building professionals to uphold standards in the industry. The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said this during a meeting with the leaders of the Nigerian Institute of Building in Abuja.
Aregbesola, who alluded to the philosophy of placing prevention above damage control or medicine after death, stressed that the Ministry would collaborate with the NIOB to train artisans in building and also to ensure standardisation of all materials being used in building construction to avert the frequent incident of building collapse across the country, which he said had claimed the lives of many Nigerians.
Ogbeni Aregbesola urged the institute to help provide building skills at the correctional centres where inmates could be engaged in more productive activities, as well as generate income for themselves and the country.
“Among the causes of massive unemployment and insecurity in Nigeria is the failure of people to recognise key primary service providers such as the building artisans, so we are addressing this trend as part of our efforts at removing all threats to the security of lives and property of the citizenry,”, he said. He emphasized the need for training and retraining of artisans in the various fields for national development.
The minister stated that the safety of all Nigerians is key to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration assuring that government will leave no stone unturned to achieve the mandate.
On the issue of foreign building professional who come into the country uncontrolled, the minister promised that the immigration section of the ministry would ensure that the building expatriates coming into the country were duly registered with the Institute and licensed by the appropriate regulatory body, the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON).
This, he stated should be a due process of reducing quackery and upholding professionalism just as it is done by the Nigerian Medical Association and Nigerian Bar Association.“As a Ministry that is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring internal security in Nigeria, our goal is to partner with relevant professional bodies and organisations to achieve our mandate,” he added.
Earlier, the National President of the NIOB, Kunle Awobodu said the institute has declared March 13 as builders’ day to remember the unfortunate five- storey building that collapsed at No 63, Massey Street on the Lagos Island, killing over 20 people, who were mostly school children.
He said, “That sad and painful incident caused by substandard building construction, which has become a common practice in Nigeria should be a reminder to stakeholders in the building industry on the fatal implications of non-compliance with appropriate building construction process.
The Day would be a yearly marked event that would commence this year. It would be a nation-wide sensitisation campaign against substandard building construction.”