Prof. Pat Utomi, Founder, Centre for Values in Leadership, has advised the Nigeria Institute of Building to address corruption and the dearth of artisans in the construction industry to curb building collapses in Nigeria.

Utomi made the call on Friday in Ikeja at NIOB inaugural memorial lecture in honour of late Pa Fatai Osikoya, its first President and Nigeria’s first registered builder.

Giving a keynote address, tagged ‘Building Collapse as Metaphor,’ Utomi said that all hands must be on deck towards bridging the shelter gap.

He blamed building collapse of moral decadence, corruption, regulatory agencies’ negligence, dearth of skilled artisans, among others, urging NIOB to tackle the issue to save lives and investments.

He also urged NIOB to always engage the building regulatory agencies to rightly enforce laws to eliminate quacks in the industry and guarantee quality assurance in building production and management.

He urged Nigeria to emulate housing development and delivery in advanced economies to bridge the shelter gap and transform the nation’s economic fortunes.

Utomi insisted that the Alhaji Shehu Shagari mass housing model was the best the nation had ever adopted because it tackled issues of affordability and availability while capturing all segments of the society.

He urged NIOB to take charge in correcting anomalies including the dearth of skilled artisans to tackle Nigeria’s housing deficit and housing needs.

“Our country is sadly the terrain of quackery in many areas of endeavour. Why is this so much more pronounced in the building space?

“This association (NIOB) must do what it takes to reassure Nigerians that buildings can and will be safe. Excuses are not part of the social contract, buck-passing and finger-pointing are not accepted from professionals,” he said.

Utomi said the endemic culture of corruption affecting the building and other sectors could end if Nigeria learn from countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, and others who have reversed disposition to corruption.