Building Collapse: Professionals take action against erring developers in Ogun

To prevent the collapse of buildings in Ogun State, professionals in the sector have risen up to ensure developers and contractors adhere strictly to approved plans as well as the rules and regulations guiding the construction industry.

DAILY POST reports that there have been cases of building collapse in different parts of Nigeria, in which lives and properties were lost.

In November 2021, a highrise building had collapsed in Ikoyi, Lagos State, killing no fewer than 45 persons, including the developer, Femi Osibona.

To prevent a recurrence, the Ogun State chapter of the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) embarked on the inspection of construction sites across the state.

The BCPG, which comprises registered Engineers, Architects, Builders, Surveyors, Valuers, Town Planners and Quantity Surveyors, Wednesday visited some construction sites in Abeokuta to vet and make necessary recommendations to the Ogun State Government.

Speaking with newsmen during the inspection, the Chairman of BCPG in Ogun, Engr Olusegun Sogbetun, disclosed that the mission of the guild was to enlighten the general public on how to construct properly, buildings or structures that fall within the profession.

Sogbetun said the BCPG had been in existence since 2013 but its impact was not readily felt because of lack of synergy with the government.

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“We’ve been around since 2013 to carry out this assignment, but we discovered that people are not really feeling our impact unless we have the collaboration with the government to achieve the enforcement and the government doesn’t have enough manpower to carry out this assignment. So, our guild works together with the arms of the government in charge of building productions management, that is the Ministry of Urban and Physical Planning, who issues out approval for developers to build their houses.”

The BCPG noted that after approval must have been issued by the government, the Ministry usually finds it “difficult to go round and see if these developers are really obeying the rules and regulations that come along with the approval in terms of setbacks, compliance with the production of the building generally and to confirm that they have qualified experts in the field to execute the job.

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“It is true that qualified experts design the project but that is one part. The major aspect is to ensure that what is written on the paper is being really adhered to so that at the end of the day, one would have a very safe and sound structure that will not fail in standing a good test of time and that will be able to serve the purpose for which it was constructed.

“We’ve been on this since 2013, some of us just came out and felt that there should be an organization like this to move around and sensitize the people.”

He added that the members of the BCPG are in different sets across the state to put an end to building collapse.

Asked, Sogbetun clarified that the BCPG cannot carry out any form of enforcement, saying it can only observe and recommend to the government what should be done where necessary.

“We don’t enforce, we just observe what we see on construction sites and we report to the government to come and enforce what should be done. While we are on-site, we still offer our professional advice to developers and contractors.

“If possible, the inspection is going to be a daily exercise throughout the state, it’s just that we are a non-governmental organization. This is a philanthropic job, but as time goes on, the government has promised that it will be giving us ‘something’ to appreciate us.

“We call on members of the public to also assist us in the area of logistics and transportation, to help us achieve our aim of preventing loss of lives and properties during and after construction,” Sogbetun said.

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