Builders fault Lagos over committee on building control agency

Lekki Collapsed Building
Members of the Nigerian Institute of Builders (NIOB), Lagos State chapter have expressed disappointment over their exclusion from the committee set up by the state government to reconstitute the agency that controls building production process in the state.

The group said since the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), which sought to be reconstituted deals majorly on building, the most qualified professionals to be on the committee are builders.

NIOB, which though commended Governor Ambode for being proactive with the inauguration of the committee, however, said it was out of place for builders not be part of those to reinvent LASBCA.

“While we support all the steps the governor has taken so far on the matter of collapsed building, we totally reject a committee for reconstitution of LASBCA without any of our members.”

NIOB queried, “What is the work of LASBCA, if not regulation of building from the commencement to the completion of building projects. And how can there be any move in the building sector without our involvement?”

They group therefore urged the state governor to reconsider the step towards including its member on the committee. “We want the governor to reconsider the choice of the committee and ensure we, as professionals, are represented.”

While counseling the state governor to do the needful, it also urged him to get acquainted with available state laws on building regulations with a view to implementing the provisions to the letter.

Meanwhile, an expert in the building sector has commended Governor Ambode for taking a proactive measure to forestall future occurrence, especially, based on the fact that Lekki Garden City was said to have been built on “not well favourable location.”

The President, Building Collapse Preventive Guild (BCPG), Mr. Kunle Awobodu, commended the move to carry out integrity test, but quickly added whether it is possible to get all the buildings done.

According to Awobodu, some of the houses are pile foundation, “so to get to the foundation level is a short period of time is just my concern, because integrity test normally could be done within the space of two weeks by which those that pass the test can be occupied by the tenants.”

Also, the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has pledged improved service and called on the Building Collapsed Prevention Guide (BCPG) to join its monitoring committee.

It will be recalled that following the collapse of a five-storey building located within Lekki Garden Estate, within Ikate Elegushi area along Lekki-Epe Expressway in Lagos, which claimed several lives, the state Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode had raised a committee of real estate professionals, who were tasked to come up with a template of reorganizing the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA).

The Committee is to be chaired by a renowned town planner and past president, Nigerian Institute of Town Planning (NITP) and Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), Dr. Moses Olubunmi Ajayi.

Other members of the committee are president of Nigerian Institute of Structural Engineers, Mr. Ore Fadayomi, a retired Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Physical Development and Urban Planning, Mrs. Yetunde Ajayi, an architect; General Manager of Lagos State Planning Authority (LASSPA) and Secretary of Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) as Secretary of the Committee.

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