Lekki Garden: Experts urge government to engage building monitors

Lekki Garden

Lekki Garden

With claims by the Lagos government that the developers of the collapsed building in Lekki corridor was served contravention notice for exceeding the approved floors, professionals have advised the state government on the need to engage recognised professionals that can assist in monitoring exercise.

The developer, Messrs Lekki Gardens said in a statement that construction had stopped in January over reported structural defects. “We’re working with all the appropriate authorities and will not leave any stone unturned to find out the exact cause of the incident.”

A former President, Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers (NIStructE), Mr. Kunle Adebajo, said, construction of a multi-storey buildings in Lekki axis requires a real professional presence, in view of the nature of the terrain.

According to him, anywhere that sand filling took place, a lot of construction’s recommendation is necessary. He said that the state authority lacked adequate manpower to monitor building activities across the state .

“As a body, we have made a lot of recommendation to government on the need to engage recognised professionals that can assist in monitoring exercise, but maybe the thinking is that we are looking for employment.

“But the truth is that government, though, may have competent hands in its employment, but certainly not adequate. For more than 30 innocent soul to perish like that calls for soul searching”, said Adebajo, who implored Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to ensure that the anomalies in the building sector are coorected.

The President, Building Collapse Preventive Guild (BCPG), Mr. Kunle Awobodu, who doubles as a senior official of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) noted that the cause of the incidentmust be purely a foundational defect.

He said: “While its wrong to violate building regulations, if the foundation is solid abinitio, a new approval may be sought for additional floors to be added and that is subject to the recommendation of a qualified professionals, but in this case, it was doubtful if professional advice was sought, although, investigation is ongoing and one cannot jump into conclusion.”

On the terrain, Awobodu noted that “unlike what happened in the Synagogue’s case where it was established that though, genuine reinforcement was used, but it was not adequate, the Lekki terrain would not only require genuine building materials, but also sufficient ones.

“However, one cannot, but comment on the roles played by the regulating authority, who should be constantly on site to monitor what is going on. But I believe that all these would be addressed in the course of investigation”, Awobodu said.

In his comment, Waxing spiritual, Mr. Chris Ajemba, also an engineer, stated that the Lekki episode should not be subjected to “unnecessary legal melodrama”, like the Synagogue saga.

“Certainly, it is the so-called big men and women that are committing atrocities in Nigeria and then recourse to legal arena. This Lekki episode may not get anywhere except there is strong political will because of those behind the affected firm.

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