The Federal Government is committed to addressing the menace of building collapse in the country, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology has said.
Onu gave the assurance on Friday in Abuja while receiving the report of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Building Collapse.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the report submitted by the committee were on some areas which had experienced building collapse in recent times.
They include Sogoye, Bode Area along Molete/Bere Road, Ibadan; No. 14, Massey Street, Ita-Faji, Lagos Island (East), Lagos State.
Also included is No. 54, Kakawa Street, Lagos Island Local Government, Lagos State.
They added: “We in the ministry are committed to making this our own contribution to our nation and to ensure we bring to zero, in the future, the number of buildings that will ever collapse in our country.
“It is the responsibility of every government to ensure all citizens are secured and live under environments in which they can make contributions possible for the growth and development of the nation.
“We cannot afford to have any more of our buildings collapse, this can happen in other countries but we do not want it to happen in Nigeria.
“This report is so important to our country and our president is concerned because we cannot afford to lose a single human being because human life is sacred.’’
Onu said that the members of the committee were carefully selected, adding that the Federal Government was deeply touched with what happened in both Lagos and Ibadan, particularly the loss of lives in Lagos.
He said: “And many others who suffered severe injuries as a result of the collapse of the building that was converted into a nursery school in Lagos Island.
“We have seen from the report that the three buildings that collapsed had different reasons for their collapse, and we need to take very important steps to correct the mistakes that were made.
“I am so happy that since Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute has been intervening, there has been a drastic reduction in the total number of building collapse in the country.
“But we cannot be satisfied until we get to a point where no building can collapse in the country. We know it is very difficult to attain but this is a goal we are setting for ourselves.
“I am confident that with the work this committee has done, once the recommendations are implemented we will move very close to zero collapse of buildings.’’
Earlier, while presenting the report of the committee to the minister, Prof Samson Duna, Acting Director-General, NBRRI, said that the committee had developed and adopted a methodology to address the challenge before it.
He said that all professionals in the construction industry preparing building designs must integrate the geo-physical survey data in their designs.
Duna added that professionals must take into cognisance the nature of soils on which structures are being erected.
He said: “Modifications to existing buildings should only be carried out by a team of building industry professionals where permissible by statute and bye laws.
“Any alterations should be approved by the relevant government agencies before their implementations.
“Illegal conversion of buildings and none-use of relevant professionals for modifications in the sizes of height and building often leads to deficiencies, failures and collapse and should be avoided.’’
According to him, the committee also recommended that every state in Nigeria should have a functional Urban and Regional Planning Tribunal that is fully empowered to deal with all forms of violation in the built environment.
Duna advised that the public should be adequately enlightened on the need for post construction maintenance throughout the life of the building since poor maintenance could lead to building collapse.