The President of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Tijani Shuaib, in this interview with George Okojie, shares displeasure at the handling of the draft bill of the National building Code (NBC) which has gotten little or no attention by the National assembly. He also stated that land use act should not be totally abrogated.
Read excerpts below:
Builders have been in the forefront in pressing for the passage of the National Building Code. What is NIOB currently doing to get it passed?
It is quite unfortunate, that since 2006 that the draft Bill of the National Building Code (NBC) was sent by the executive to the National Assembly not much had been done by the body to pass the Bill. This development has continued to be a source of concern for the seven professional bodies in the built environment. Having said that, let me say that those of us in the NIOB and Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) have commenced fresh moves in talking to the relevant authorities and top government officials on the need to see that the Bill sees the light of day. I want to believe that other members of the other professional bodies in the built environment are not relenting in the quest to ensure that the NASS passes the code. Don’t forget, that the Bill has undergone the second reading, awaiting the third reading before being committed to the committee stage. I believe strongly, that the 8th Senate would expedite action on the passage of the Bill because it is important to emphasize here, that the early passage of the NBC would no doubt, help in sanitising the construction industry. There is no doubt, that the code would serve as a document to regulate work in the construction industry and also, help to define the duties of all the seven professional bodies in the built environment in order to avoid the frequent conflict amongst them.
What would you say is the cause of the incessant building collapses witnessed in the country?
Without sounding immodest, I can say in the last two years, all the building collapses that were witnessed in the country that no professional builder were involved. Having said that, it is quite unfortunate and a worrisome development that the spate of building collapse in the country has lately been on the increase. A major factor that could be adduced to this development is greed on the part of most developers and the use of sub-standard and inferior building materials. Most developers in a bid to maximise profit would choose to cut corners, hence jeopardizing the lives of the ordinary people. For instance, where he is supposed to use one bag of cement to produce 35 blocks, he would rather use one bag of cement to produce 60 blocks. This development no doubt, would be detrimental to the finished product. The way out, is for developers to engage the services of professionals in the construction process. We as an institute would continue to canvass the use of genuine professionals in supervising on-going projects. There is the need for developers to use genuine and standard building materials for construction and finally anybody found culpable should be severely sanctioned.READ ALSO – There are About 5000 Registered Architects In Nigeria – NIA President
Has the Land Use Act Impacted positively on the nation’s mass housing drive. What do you think can be done to make the Act useful to majority of the people or should it be totally abrogated?
I do not subscribe to the notion, that the Act be totally abrogated because it is good for the polity. But having said that, I am of the opinion, that the section that gives enormous powers to the governors in the area of title deeds, should be modified in order to reduce their powers. Although, it is being alleged, that most of the governors use the section that gives them power over titles deeds to witch-hunt perceived political opponents, I do not think it is enough to make the Act inconsequential, hence the need to have such powers curtailed.