The Imo State Government, through its agency, Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) has blamed the deployment of non-professionals as one of the main causes of the incessant building collapses throughout the country.
The General Manager of OCDA, Engr. Francis Chukwu, made this known while delivering his address at the Nigeria Institute of Building, Imo State Chapter’s 4th Builders Workshop/Induction ceremony held at the institute’s Secretariat at new Owerri, Imo State capital.
The OCDA boss further disclosed that the agency set up a committee, in conjunction with Nigeria Institute of Building to look into the cases of building collapse in Imo State.
He said the findings of the committee revealed that most collapsed buildings were handled by quacks.
The General Manager advised developers to always engage the services of certified builders in order to avert any unpleasant consequences emanating from building collapse.
He commended the Nigeria Institute of Building (NIOB) for holding the workshop and assured them of his authorities’ readiness to always synergize with NIOB.
In his address, the chairman, Nigeria Institute of Building, Imo State Chapter Builder, Dr. Andrew Osuagwu explained that the activities of NIOB, Imo State Chapter include collaborating with OCDA in development control, creating awareness amongst Imo People, Corporate Organization and Government Agencies in order to engage registered builders who are authorized by law to produce buildings.
Osuagwu called on the Imo State House of Assembly to domesticate the National Building codes in Imo State.
He also appealed to the State Governor, His Excellency, Hope Uzodimma to approve the creation of the Building Control Department in OCDA to be headed by a registered builder.
Also speaking, Prof. Okoli Godwin Obumneme, who is a Professor of Construction Technology/Building Materials in the Department of Building, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, stated that the alternative methods of construction involve a wide range of techniques and materials and can be defined as a move away from traditional cavity wall construction using bricks and concrete blocks.
Obumneme regretted that there is no comprehensive legislation for the construction industry on local content development, and that this was a serious minus on the adoption of alternative construction as a panacea for sustained building production.
He advised that Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) as an agency of government charged with the responsibility of conducting research on construction and building materials should do more to advertise and educate the public by building prototypes with their products in local government areas and that researchers should be empowered to hold exhibitions of research findings from time to time.