By NGOZI Onyeakusi —-


The Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) has cautioned government on incessant building collapse across the country.

Speaking through its president, Mr. Tonye Braide, the body urged the government to audit the activities of all building regulatory agencies nationwide in order to combat the rising cases of building collapse.

Delivering paper at the third distinguished architect’s lecture, Braide noted that each time a building collapse, it regarded as negligence on the part of the regulatory agencies.

According to him, “The frequency of building collapse may raise questions on the relevance of the agencies. There may be the need to conduct an audit on the activities of these agencies over the last three years to see how relevant their areas of emphasis have been towards national development.

The continuing collapse of buildings in Nigeria will raise questions on the integrity of the officers in the agencies. Many could ask: when buildings collapse what has been the reaction? Were investigations and reports to prepare preventive measuresto forestall further occurrence carried out? Has any of the actors in the development process been brought to book? Have the Nigerian people been told what may be the direct and remote causes of the collapse, which would have killed scores of innocent citizens? When a person presents himself for a job he cannot do, it is corruption; and Nigeria has the mechanism to fight and contain corruption.”

He pointed out if the fight against corruption was extended to the regulatory process in the construction industry it would create a pathway to stop the continuing collapse of buildings and make the country great again, architecturally.

He added, “If we aspire to be one of the leading 20 nations in architecture, we must rise to collectively stop the spate of collapsed buildings in Nigeria. The buildings are coming down at an average rate of one per month with great fatalities. This is totally unacceptable for a country repositioning towards becoming relevant in global affairs in the industry. It means that something is critically wrong with the structure of building construction administration.

“Government has set up regulatory agencies in the industry, but are these agencies doing what they should be doing? Some agencies have personnel who have emptied the content of their brains in chasing rumours and gossips, leaving no space to contain the how and why of building collapse. We are not taking the blame for the crumbling buildings in our cities away from design failures, but building collapse is also due to poor governance structures in the construction process, not architectural design failure alone.”