By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
An Estate Surveyor and Valuer ESV Emmanuel Edoh, said there are salient reasons behind building collapse that is never been considered in our discussion in Nigeria
He explained that this issue of building collapsed can be categorized into building without approvals, deviating from the approved design, employing non professionals to project manage construction works and using substandard building materials.
Others are Lack of soil test to ascertain the load bearing capacity of the sites, lack of effective supervision by government regulatory agencies, compromise by regulatory agencies, lack of institutionalised standard operating procedure (SOP) for building approval and regulation and core corruption.
According to him , corruption is at the center of all the above reasons behind building collapse in Nigeria .
He mention that almost all cases of building collapse we’ve recorded are buildings constructed with the intention to sell .
“You see we hardly hear that privately built home for personal use collapsed. So why is it that developer-financed projects are prone to collapse”,.
He said the reason is not far-fetched.”The truth is that, apart from the above reasons, the contract between developers and land owners is another reason”.
His Analysis of some agreements between developers and land owing families shows that the contracts are skewed in favour of the land owners.
“The land owners demand so much from the developer that he’s left with no choice than to cut corners in order to break even. For instance, we’ve seen land owners grant short lease of say 20years lease period without option of renewal. Hence, the entire development reverts to the land owner after the 20years lease”.
He further noted that the land owner would also demand substantial share of the finished building.
“With this kind cut throat agreement,without holding brief for the developer, the developer is constrained to cut corners in order to break even”, he said .
He reiterated that “ If we must end building collapse in Nigeria, we have to address the above enumerated issues and create strong regulatory institutions to oversee the construction industry”, Eboh said .