The President of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr Kunle Awobodu has said that professionalism in building construction remained the first step to reducing chances of substandard building construction practices across the country.
Awobodu stated this while disclosing plans by the institute to create awareness on the engagement of professionals in building construction at 2021 Builders’ Day, themed; Professional builders’ engagement in building production management.
According to him, the objective of Builders’ Day was to create awareness on the need for stakeholders on building projects to adhere strictly to standards, codes of practice and building regulations.
“Builders as the professionals saddled with the responsibility of managing building production on sites must be technically sound to ensure that the architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical designs are wholesomely integrated to form a massive product composed of various elements and parts that will work in unison and sustainable.”
He explained that the pre-Builders’ Day programme would begin on Monday, March 8, 2021 with the induction of graduate students of building and inauguration of the Association of Building Artisans and Craftsmen of Nigeria (ABACON).
“There will be visitation to secondary schools for career talk under the programme’s ‘Catch Them Young’ initiative on Tuesday, while on Wednesday and Thursday will for building condition survey and press day/ lectures respectively.
“The programme continues on Friday, March 12, 2021, with corporate members induction and Jumat service while the main event of community service, visit to construction sites, strategic visits to stakeholders will hold on Saturday, March 13,” he said.
According to Awobodu, March 13 has been chosen in commemoration of the collapse of a five-storey residential building at 63, Massey Street, Ita-Faaji, Lagos Island in 2019, leading to premature death of over 20 pupils, describing the incident as “an avoidable calamity that elicited world- wide condemnation.”
He said the outcome of investigation into the Ita-Faaji building collapse and supported by several similar past cases in Lagos, made the state government do the needful by stipulating in its Building Regulations of 2019 that building construction sites across Lagos State should be managed by registered/ professional builders.
“Invariably, Builders’ Day 2021 is to echo the need for other states of the federation to emulate the 2019 result-oriented Building Regulations of Lagos State,” he added.
According to the NIOB president, prevention of building collapse and its attendant losses is less expensive and superior to emergency management of collapsed building sites, which is more of a medicine – after- death approach.
To orchestrate its campaign against quackery and the ‹penny-wise pound- foolish› mindset of some developers, he said the NIOB members in the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, would be active on building sites for community service on March 13.
Awobodu said in a social responsibility initiative, builders would provide developers/ clients unique building construction techniques pro bono.
He added that technical advice would also be given freely on radio and television stations for people who are having challenges on their building sites or occupants of buildings with technical issues.
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