NIOB Holds 2012 Annual Conference In Imo

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As Govt, Builders, stakeholders Brainstorm on Quality and Safe Building

By Obioma Reagan

The Nigerian Institute of Builders (NIBO) has stressed the need for the adherence of the National Building Code. This is in line with its commitment to the search for an enduring and lasting solution to the problem of Building Collapse in Nigeria.

This was disclosed was in a keynote address delivered by Chuks Omeife, President General, Nigerian Institute of Builders  at Imo State chapter of NIOB, Annual Conference/ General meeting held in Owerri .

He said the effort is an ongoing one to avert the avoidable loss of lives and attendant economic loss and bad image orchestrated as a result of the collapse of buildings in the country.

Omeife added that it is disheartening that professional stakeholders in the industry have not been able to come up with a unified cause of building collapse. He however emphasized that the National Building Code (2006), a collective resolve by built environment professionals was put together to promote best practices aimed at setting minimum standard in building pre design, designs, construction and post construction stages with a view to ensuring quality, safety and proficiency in the building industry.

He stated that Government and various regulatory agencies at different levels need to do more in the war against building collapse by implementing and enforcing existing policies and laws enacted to curb the problem of collapse.

The NIBO president noted that inadequate regulatory framework of building process is a major factor that has encouraged the involvement of quacks in the industry which have been identified as major causes of the various building collapse across the country.

NIBO, according to him, is concerned over the prevailing experiences of incessant building collapse especially in urban areas and solicited that building collapse as a result of negligence should be treated as a criminal case.

He expressed hope that the application of provisions of the National Building  Code as it relates to the Builders Documents and Builders liability Insurance will play a key role to nip in the bud challenges of building collapse, stressing that the enforcement of the Insurance Act and the mandatory requirement of the builders  documents will go a long way to expose quacks, charlatans and impostors in the building industry, thereby reducing  and eliminating the problem of building collapse.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Association, Hon Chris Ezeh said the essence of the conference with the theme ‘Builders Document and Builder’s Liability Insurance Act 2003: Panacea For The Building Collapse Problem in Nigeria’ regretted that despite the provisions of the law and building code, building clients, consultants, approval authorities and contractors in Nigeria have continued to sideline builders who are supposed to enforce building standards in abandonment, cost and time over run are some of the consequences of non involvement of registered builders in building projects in Nigeria.

In his address, the Imo State Commissioner for Housing, Chief Charles Onuoha, said the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development has commenced the implementation of compulsory Insurance of Public buildings.

Onuoha who represented Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas  Okorocha at the event, said the move became necessary because of the huge amount of money and resources the State Government is committing in infrastructural development. The exercise, he said, is aimed at safeguarding House owners and occupants of public buildings and workers against the hazards of collapsed buildings.

He said the State Government through the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is soliciting for the support of the Association of Builders and other stakeholders in the building industry in the production of a housing policy for the State as a panacea to forestall the ugly incidences of collapsed buildings.