The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has warned building regulatory agencies that the Federal Government will not condone collapse of buildings under its mass housing project scheduled to commence soon.
Fashola said this on Thursday in Abuja at the 6th Annual Building and Construction Economic Roundtable organised by the Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria with the theme, “Professional issues and challenges in building collapse in Nigeria.”
The minister stressed that all agencies of government charged with enforcement of standards, professionalism, regulations and discipline must ensure that no single incident of building collapse is witnessed anywhere in the country under the Federal Government Housing Programme.
The minister who was represented by a director in his ministry, Samah Mohammed, argued that some of the tragedies of building collapse were self-inflicted arising from greed, negligence and profiteering tendencies of one or all the parties involved, noting that this phenomenon was seldom caused by seismic forces of earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons or tremors.
He noted that the theme of BCERT 6 underscored the QSRBN’s responsiveness to address matters of genuine concern to the government and people of Nigeria, stressing that incidents of building collapse constituted a major setback in the aim to ensure sustainable housing development projects in the country.
Fashola observed that building collapse comes with attendant huge financial losses as well as loss of lives and property including psychological and emotional traumas and physical injuries to the victims.
He said, “The Federal Government is undertaking the most ambitious housing programme ever witnessed in this country and our desire is to provide housing for all economic segments of the citizenry.
“As we embark on this programme of providing housing for Nigerians, government insists on zero-tolerance for building collapse. As such, agencies of government charged with enforcement of standards, professionalism, regulations and discipline must ensure that no single incident of building collapse is witnessed anywhere in the country under the Federal Government Housing Programme,” Fashola warned.
He stated that the FG had already produced a National Housing Policy to guide the intervention of government in the provision of housing in Nigeria, adding that a law to enforce the National Building Code would soon be passed.
The QSRBN President, Mallam Hussaini Dikko, in his welcome address to participants, stated that the Roundtable was organised to find solutions to the incidents of building collapse in the country.
He regretted that out of seven professional regulatory bodies setting standards, controlling, regulating and promoting disciplines in the practice of Architecture, Building, Engineering, Quantity Surveying, Town Planning, Estate Management and Surveying, five of them have no budget line funding to carry out their statutory mandate which include curbing incidents of building collapse in Nigeria.