I wish to call on regulatory authorities at all levels to rise up to the responsibility of ridding the building sector of quacks, although the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) is a body of professionals, it cannot perform the regulatory function as it is not empowered by law to do so.
The regulation of buildings and such physical development is usually done at the state level. In the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), there is the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and the Department of Development Control, which are jointly responsible for controlling the physical development of the FCT.
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When there is no enforcement, the building industry becomes an all-comers affair and you have quacks taking over the industry, which leads to building collapse and the accompanying loss of lives and properties. This is the situation in some states.
In Nasarawa State, there is the Nasarawa State Urban Development Agency; in Kaduna State, there is the Kaduna State Urban Development Agency (KADSUDA). So, every state has its agency and law that guides its physical or environmental development as the case may be. The point is that the provisions are either inadequate or there is inadequate or total absence of enforcement of the provisions of the law.
To be fair, Lagos and Ogun States come first on the list when you talk of states that are responsive to averting building collapse, based on what they have done and what they are trying to do. Although some other states are trying to also come on board in that regard. Well, this is my own opinion. Some other states are beginning to see the cost of building collapse when compared to the cost of averting it.
The NIOB will not wait for buildings to collapse before we start making efforts, we will work to avert the tragedies. We don’t want to discuss who is responsible for a collapse or who is not, our goal is to avert building collapse and we want regulatory bodies to support us in this, by carrying out their regulatory functions effectively.
Bldr. Omale Peter Ameh, Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), FCT Chapter