By Stanley Onyekwere
In a bid to halt incessant building collapse, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) through its Department of Development Control (DDC) has set up a 7-man committee on mitigating the reoccurring menace in the Territory.
Speaking after the inauguration of the committee yestetday, in Abuja, DDC Director, Mukhtar Galadima, reiterated that the move was part of proactive measures, to address the menace, in order to safeguard lives and property of the residents.
Galadima said the committee would be looking out for structures that visually may look stable but not and recommend an integrity test.
He added that the committee would also make recommendations on how to reduce the incidence of building collapse to the barest minimum in FCT.
He said: “We don’t have to wait for another building to collapse before we act. That is why we set up the committee to help investigate structures that are not structurally stable for human habitation.
“It is good to go round and identify these structures, conduct integrity tests and where necessary provide for remedial measures and remove the structure if it is found not stable.”
He also said that the committee would equally recommend who to be engaged to conduct the integrity test.
He explained that the 7-man committee comprises representatives from the Council for Registered Engineers of Nigeria, and Town Planners Registration Council, Builders Registration Council.
Others are National Institute of Building and Road Research Institute and Standard Organisation of Nigeria among others.
Describing the task as a “national call”, the DDC director revealed that the committee has two months at the first instance to deliver on the task.
Galadima however, warned that any official of the department involved in sharp practices would be dealt with in accordance with the civil service rule and other extant laws.
On his part chairman of the committee, Allabeh Ndirmbula, opined that reasons for building collapse were materials, construction, design, misuse, quackery, ageing and disaster among several other factors.
Ndirmbula, a former president of the Town Planners Registration Council, assured that the committee would work to address, with focus on Phase 1 area of the FCT namely Wuse 1 and 2, Garki and Asokoro.
“What has already happened, we can’t help it; but the future is what we are looking at. We want to make sure that from now on, we have a system that checks against building collapse,” he said.
Similarly, Deputy Director in Development Control and Secretary of the committee, Ajibade Adeyinka, described the building industry as a “complex industry”.
Adeyinka noted that the industry has so many professionals working in the field and their job interrelated in the processes and procedures of erecting a building for a specific use.
According to him: “There have been a lot of compromises along the way, from the developer to the owner of the building, to the professionals on site, issue of quackery and poor supervision and monitoring.
“This committee intends to look at existing structures, processes and procedures and look at how to rejig it if there are issues.
“When you talk about building collapse, we always look at buildings under construction, but we are also looking at buildings that have been completed and occupied.”