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Architects’ council wants 16-year dormant building code activated

The Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has called on the National Assembly to expedite action to deliver a law that will give legal backing…

The Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has called on the National Assembly to expedite action to deliver a law that will give legal backing to the National Building Code.

Sixteen years after the National Building Code was approved, it has not been given a legal framework despite the sector being beset with numerous problems. 

The Registrar of ARCON, Arch Umar Murnai, noted that the absence of an enabling legislation for the document had largely contributed to its ineffectiveness in the area of regulating procedures and processes in the nation’s real estate industry.

This was contained in his presentation on “National Building Code: Challenges and Solutions for Modern Infrastructure”, at the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) in Abuja.

Murnai said currently the code was yet to be backed by any legislation hence most professionals were yet to accept it as a document to guide them, let alone the public which was always apprehensive of new ideas.

He explained that the code provided that all state governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) should domesticate the document, but wondered how many of the states had the full document in operation.

He said, “Building code and regulations exist to safeguard the public health and general welfare from fire and other hazards attributed to the built environment.

“It is to establish minimum requirements to safeguard public health, safety and general welfare in the processes of predesign, design, construction and post-construction stages of the life cycle of building and structures. 

“The code was produced and approved in 2006 for use in Nigeria. It is to among others address incessant collapse of buildings, fire incidents in buildings and other disasters; dearth of referenced design materials for professionals; use of non-professional; use of untested products and materials; inadequate planning of our towns, cities and other built environment abuses; lack of adequate regulations and sanctions for non-compliance; inadequate database to aid sustainable building process.”