In the last 44 years, Nigeria has witnessed about 461 building collapse incidents in which 1,090 people died and hundreds of others suffered injures.
Femi Falana (SAN) stated this in his address at the 2021 Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) held at Lagos.
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Speaking on the topic ‘Engagement of only Registered Builders for Managing Building Production and Construction: Keeping the Law and Keeping Society Safe,” he attributed the development to “official impunity on the part of government”, as majority of the owners of the collapsed buildings and the builders were not prosecuted.
The lawyer also said “due to ignorance, the victims and the family members of those who lost their lives did not sue the owners of the collapsed buildings with a view to compelling them to pay compensation for their negligence.”
He called on the professional bodies not to wait for disasters to happen before making interventions.
“For instance, the Lagos State Ministry of Urban Development and Planning has approved the construction of tank farms in the Satellite Town in total defiance of the master plan of the area.
“To pave way for the operations of the tank farms the ministry has concluded arrangements to demolish a number of houses with approved buildings plans and valid title documents. Meanwhile, the owners of the tank farms have not been asked to show evidence of compliance with the Lagos State Building Control Regulations 2019.
“The plea of the law-abiding residents of the Satellite Town whose houses have been marked for demolition has fallen on the deaf ears of the relevant officials of the state government. It is high time the NIOB intervened to arrest the imminent disaster,” he said.