As Nigerians wonder what might have caused the collapse of yet another building on Friday, the Director General of Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), Professor Danladi Matawal has called for comprehensive investigation describing the incident as a national disgrace.
The Director General who reacted to the incident through a social media chat monitored by Viewpoint Housing News on Saturday said, “NGA, NICE & NSE P/H: The collapse of 7-storey Port Harcourt building has become a national professional smear.”
On November 14, 2018, Matawal who headed the the Panel of Inquiry on Jabi Building Collapse submitted a three-volume report to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
A three-storey shopping complex under construction went down in Jabi district of Abuja on August 17, 2018, killing nearly 10 people.
FCTA therefore, set up the panel to unravel the cause(s) of the happening.
In the group chat with professionals in the built environment, the professor suggested, “A team needs to be set up…to produce a good technical report.
“Pictures from site not enough for coronary inquest and court processes. There must be a foul proof Technical Analysis that addresses the questions posed by the architects boss in Rivers [State],”
Matawal said investigations should provide answers to all relevant questions: Were there designs, architectural, structural, subsoil report? Who were the designers?
Were the drawings neat, readable, logical? Were the designs correct, established through Back Analysis?
Was the Subsoil Report correct, established through another Subsoil Investigation?
Was there a supervision mechanism and team? What is the composition of supervision team and were they professionally suited for a project of such magnitude?
Did they hold meetings weekly, fortnightly or monthly? Was there any full time supervision presence monitoring day to day technical duties?
What was the composition of the developers construction team? Was there a sign board? What is the role of the Port Harcourt Municipal Development Board?
“In the field and lab, team must check nature of collapse, concrete destruction mode, Lump Sums checked in lab and through non destructive modes.
“The type of foundation is very important: pile, pad, strip, raft, etc. depth of foundation and sizes (thicknesses, widths depths, lengths, breadths) of all structural elements must be established with precision: footings, columns below ground and above, beams, slabs at all levels of feasible.
“Reinforcement on footings, columns, beams slabs: main and secondary including bar sizes, spacings, grades, etc.,” the Director General stated.
He asked if the developer and contractor as well as the architect, engineer and builder involved in the project have been arrested.
According to the chairman of Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) Rivers State Chapter, Mr Asomba Andrew Egbuonu, the building was designed as a luxury hotel and was under intensive construction when it suddenly sank under its own weight around 5:00pm on Friday.
He said around 100 persons comprising workers and food sellers were in the building when it collapsed.
It is said that rescue work through the night has brought out over 20 persons.