Following the last weekend’s building collapse in Okwe suburb of Asaba, Oshimili South Local Government Area, Delta State, the State Government, on Sunday, declared a state of emergency on building codes to forestall reoccurrence.
Preliminary investigations showed that the building, belonging to one Captain Sam Akaraiwe, collapsed on Saturday as a result of suspected structural defects, with one person confirmed dead and four others (including the landlord) hospitalized.
Speaking with newsmen at the scene of the catastrophe, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, observed that the building, which was still under construction, was compromised.
‘’As a government, we insist that our urban renewal laws and policies are strictly adhered to, especially in the suburbs where supervision is largely undermined due to their remoteness.
‘’But this has reminded us of the need for our officials to intensify monitoring, especially in the suburbs, so that we can ascertain that all legal and policy requirements as it concerns erecting structures have been fulfilled’’ he said.
While commending the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) for their swift response, the state’s spokesman called on property developers to always do the right thing, even as he harped on the essence of approaching relevant authorities for necessary approvals.
Representing the Commissioner, Bureau for Special Duties, Hon Omamfe Pirah, the Director of SEMA, Mr. Karo Ovemeso, commended residents of the area for assisting emergency officials in the rescue operation.
Present at the scene was the Permanent Secretary, Bureau for Special Duties, Mr. Benson Oburoh and officials of SEMA.
Meanwhile, the Builder, Construction and Skilled Artisans Association of Nigeria (BACSAAN), has attributed selfishness of contractors as major factor responsible for building collapse in Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that members of BACSAAN comprises bricklayers, carpenters, welders, plumbers, tilers, Aluminium, block makers among others.
The National President of BACSAAN, Alhaji Fasasi Muhammad-Jamiu stated this yesterday during the South West meeting of the association in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Muhammed-Jamiu said that some contractors intentionally provide substandard building materials for use at building sites in order to make more profit.
“The selfish interest of some contractors is responsible for collapsed buildings in Nigeria. We are the ones using the materials and we know materials that are of good quality. “A lot of these contractors bring inferior materials to the site and if we refuse to use them, they will not give us the work again and give them to other people who will collect the job because of hunger.
“If the Federal Government mandates the association to monitor building materials at sites in Nigeria, we will make sure building collapse is reduced or eradiated in Nigeria,” the BACSAAN president said.
The national president further said that artisans employed by contractors were often overworked and not even paid amounts commensurate to the work done. (NAN)