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Professional body raises the alarm on building collapse in Lagos

The Society of Energy Administrators (SEA), Nigeria, on Sunday called for proactive measures to avert building collapses which occurred during rainy seasons in Lagos.

SEA members, led by its President, Dr Yekeen Adeboye, made the call during a courtesy visit to the Lagos office of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

SEA National Secretary, Dr Abayomi Akeem, commended Lagos State Government’s efforts in carrying out integrity checks on buildings but called for more measures during the rainy season.

Akeem said building collapse was more frequent during the rainy season because water remained a strong catalyst that precipitates it in a coastal environment like Lagos.

“Government should develop infrastructure, make way for water, develop the drainage system, so that water will not find its way to where it should not be,’’ he said.

Citing the National Theatre rehabilitation and remodeling project as example, he said that the Lagos State Ministry of Environment was concerned about the wetlands.

He called for sustained protection of the wetlands to assist in de-flooding the state to reduce risks of collapse as well as adoption of Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) Risk Management accountability in construction.

He said owners of old buildings should be encouraged to partner with developers to demolish and reconstruct stronger structures.

“I will give kudos to the Lagos State Government, they have been trying with respect to integrity testing on buildings.

“And we can also admit that the incidences are not as frequent as it used to be, though we still have some but we are improving,’’.

Speaking on new towns development, the SEA scribe said infrastructure must be developed before new settlements spring up to prevent haphazard development leading to future building collapses.

“The doctrine is that before we start building on virgin land, infrastructure should come in first.

“There should be drainage and roads but we don’t have that now. People just buy land and build. Some people will build on proposed roads and drainage channels.

“I think it has to do with enforcement, before you start building on virgin land, the land owners (Omonile) must be strongly advised to follow the plan for the area.

“Let plans come before physical development because if you don’t have that people will build indiscriminately and it will be difficult to control.

“And that is why we are repeating the same mistakes often,’’ he said.

He said that the security of humans, assets and environment would be threatened except templates for QHSE which SEA was pursuing to become law were adhered to. (NAN)

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