Naomi Gabriel —
He was represented by his Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Aramide Adeyoye.
However, the architects called out his government and its relevant agencies for regulatory laxity, hence the frequent building collapse incidents in the state. They noted that the government lacked the political will and strength of character to stop the collapse incidents.
Recently, there has been reports of building collapses in Lagos state and the country that have claimed lives and led to loss of properties. This, the architects described as unfortunate.
Available record on building collapse incidents in Nigeria shows that between 2011 and 2019, about 84 collapse incidents were recorded and only 21 happened outside Lagos. The report adds that 59 percent of these incidents involved buildings still under construction while 41 percent were existing structures.
Before the November 1, 2021 collapse of a 21-storey building still under construction at 44, Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, known as ‘360 Degrees’, there were three major incidents, two of which happened in Lagos.
They were the Reigners Bible Church building in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State which collapsed and killed 50 people; the Lekki Gardens 5-storey building which collapsed and killed 34 people in Lekki, Lagos, and the Synagogue Church of All Nations Guest House which collapsed and killed about 116 people in Egbe, Lagos. The latest incident is Sunday, May 1, 2022, involving a 3-storey building in Ebute Metta which collapsed and killed10 persons and left several others with injuries.
“It is unfortunate that Lagos is leading in the frequency of these collapses. This is because the state is densely populated and so there is high demand for housing which encourages developers to cut corners. Again, there is lack of professionals manning many construction sites,” Enyi Ben-Eboh, president of NIA, said.
Ben-Eboh advised that government professionals responsible for approvals and supervision of construction sites should ensure that they sign off every stage of construction. He added that the National Building Code (NBC) should be strictly enforced.
“Government should increase its capacity in the area of regulation and supervision of buildings during construction. It should not wait until when a building is completed before finding out that it is defective and therefore due for demolition,” the president advised further.
On her part, Abimbola Ajayi, former chairman of NIA Lagos chapter, lamented that building collapse keeps occurring in the state, noting that “there is no political will or strength of character to stop the trend.”
“Government is trying, but it needs to do more. It needs to be helped and professionals like architects should be involved,” she added, advising that professionals should also embark on advocacy against the use of quacks at construction sites.
Tonye Oliver Braide, former president of NIA, canvassed corporate governance to curtail the incidence of building collapse in Nigerian cities, especially Lagos. He explained that the government needed to put a mechanism in place to track the various stages of construction so that in the event of a collapse, it would be easy to find out who did what.