‘Incessant building collapse caused by cheap labour’

A collapsed building in Admiraty way, Lekki, Lagos

Members of the Association of Building Consultants and Artisans of Nigeria (ASBAN) have attributed incessant cases of building collapse to cheap labour and incompetent artisans in the building sector.

The National President, Jimmy Oshinubi, disclosed this while addressing exhibitors at the Door, Window, Glass, Aluminium and Façade Exhibition (DoWin) held in Lagos.

Oshinubi said that many artisans who are contracted in building construction have outdated experiences and therefore are not in tune with the latest building techniques.

He said: “There has been complaint from general public that artisans are not qualified, that they have outdated experiences. Some of them have learnt these trades for the past 30 years and their experiences are outdated. What they learnt those days when they learnt the trade is different from what is happening today so we have to update their experiences.

“We have been experiencing a lot of building collapses in Nigeria and when these things happen, it falls back on the artisans. But the public forgets that most of the building owners pick their artisans on the road.

“If you go to Iyana-Ipaja, you see artisans sitting there so when you pick them and they do shoddy jobs for you, you don’t come back to us and say artisans are incompetent. The Togolese and Beninese artisans in Nigeria are very cheap because an average artisan in Nigeria will not collect less than N5, 000 a day but these foreigners are ready to collect N2, 000 because by the time they convert to their currency, it is a lot of money.”

Oshinubi explained that the association is retraining members regularly.   He said, “with new ideas coming up in the building sector, we admonished the government to do more in encouraging youths to learn handwork by giving construction jobs to local contractors and paying them well rather than allowing youths to ride commercial motorcycle.”

“We assess the competence of our members by giving them jobs to do. There are some who can only handle jobs of N500, 000 and there are those who can handle jobs worth N1million and above.

“If we don’t encourage the youths to learn trade, these trades will be vanishing. We don’t want government to give jobs to foreigners. Let us encourage the youths to learn these trades. They need to be motivated, if they are not paid well, they will not want to learn it. We have been educating the youths on the need to have handwork and hardworking rather than riding commercial motorcycles.

“We have been discussing with the government to patronize us in youth empowerment. In Europe, plumbers earn $75 per hour but here in Nigeria, a plumber is paid N3, 000 per day so we are trying to see how we can increase their income.”

In this article:
ASBANJimmy Oshinubi


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