The Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) has expressed concern over the high rate of building collapses in Nigeria and has called for urgent action to be taken to address the issue. In a statement by the national president of the BCPG, Sulaimon Yusuf, the group noted that real estate and housing development have become a booming business for investors in Nigeria following the collapse of the stock exchange and manufacturing.
However, many investors lack the necessary training in building construction, leading to a flood of unprofessionalism in the construction sphere. This has resulted in a lack of adherence to professional advice, with profiteering being prioritized above safety, and compromise becoming the norm.
The BCPG was formed in 2011 by a coalition of professionals in the built environment services, including town planners, land surveyors, architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, builders, and estate surveyors & valuers. The group’s primary aim was to augment the low capacity of the government staff at monitoring the massive expanse of developed and rapidly developing built environments.
The BCPG has been successful in raising awareness about substandard building construction works and distressed buildings, helping to get this information to the notice of relevant government staff. However, the group noted that the size of developers has become enormous, thereby overwhelming the government monitoring apparatus. 90% of developers do not belong to the association, and quite a number of them are very influential. The culture of inducement being promoted by many developers has encouraged compromise in the circles of government officials.
To address this issue, the BCPG has appealed to developers to abide by building regulations and engage the appropriate professionals in the pre-construction, construction, and post-construction stages of the building. They have also asked developers to consider the risk involved in building construction more than the gains. Additionally, the group has appealed to the government to lessen the burden on developers by reducing the high development fees and taxation.
The BCPG also reminded those handling building projects for their relations and friends in the diaspora to bear in mind that God has a way of rewarding sincere people that do not engage in the diversion of project funds to the detriment of building production quality. The group has encouraged developers to invest in the housing sector conscientiously and deliver buildings that will stand the test of time and not endanger the life of occupants.
The BCPG’s efforts to prevent building collapses in Nigeria are laudable, and it is crucial that all stakeholders in the building industry work together to address this issue. Building collapses not only endanger lives but also damage the reputation of the Nigerian built environment professional. It is time for developers to put safety above profits and for the government to provide an enabling environment for developers to comply with building regulations and engage the appropriate professionals in building construction.