No fewer than 23 persons were trapped in a three-storey building under construction which collapsed in Ibadan on Friday, witnesses said.

The Lagos State chapter of National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) has urged private school owners to endeavour to build their school structures themselves, rather than depend on a leased or developers’ building to operate.

The association’s President of the association, Mr Wasiu Adumadeyin, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos that this was to ensure that the school building conformed with specified standard and that the quality of material used were of recommended quality.

Adumadeyin spoke against the backdrop of the collapsed three-storey building housing a school at Ita-Faji area of Lagos Island which killed 20 people.

NAN reports that the building collapsed on March 13 at about 10 a.m. when classes were ongoing and among those killed were school children, while 48 others were injured and some still receiving treatment in some public hospitals in Lagos.

“NAPPS is more saddened because of the life of the young ones that we lost, and we sympathise with the family of the deceased and pray for the quick recovery of those injured.

“What is worth doing at all is worth doing well, so our advice to our members is to build their school building themselves.

“Considering the use in which the building will be put into, with emphasis on the safety of the children who are vulnerable,” he said.

Adumadeyin noted that if it was impossible for the proprietors to build schools themselves due to land and financial constraints, they must involve an architect who could confirm the state of the building and renovate it in accordance with recommended standard.

“I agree that some private schools are not doing it right, though they are few, their actions tarnish the image of the good schools.

“Most public schools in Lagos State have good structures although the quality of teaching and learning standard may be questionable.

“As school owners, we should think about safety first because students should not be accommodated in a risky environment for whatever reasons,” he said.

Adumadeyin revealed that the association had also visited the scene of the collapsed building in spite of the fact that the owner was not their member and had supported some of the injured at general hospital, Marina with cash.

He said NAPPS had also concluded plans to partner with the Lagos State Government to ensure such incidents never reccurred, especially in schools.

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