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The General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Gbolahan Owodunni Oki, has said that there are fewer than 4,000 architects in Nigeria.
Oki made this disclosure during his address at the BusinessDay conference on Sustainable Building with the theme, “Addressing the Challenges of Building Collapse in Nigeria.”
Speaking at the conference, Oki, an architect with over 30 years experience expressed concern over the state of professional bodies in the industry. “The total number of registered architects in Nigeria does not have up to 4,000, and there are over 60,000 who are not registered,” Oki said, laying emphasis on the crucial role professionals in the construction sector must undertake to counter the concerning trend of building collapses.
“Construction often starts with the Architect who designs and plans the project,” he explained. “The Structural Engineers are to ensure that the structures can withstand the stresses and pressures imposed by use and the environment.”
He further elaborated on the responsibilities of various professionals in the construction process, including builders, Mechanical Engineers, and Electrical Engineers.
The dire issue of building collapse in Nigeria, according to Oki, often stems from attitudinal problems and a lack of maintenance culture. “We have a lot of quacks, and professionals who lack proper credentials,” he lamented. Oki stressed the importance of proper maintenance and vigilant oversight, stating, “How they treated other people’s properties is how they’ll do theirs.”
Oki also advocated for increased vigilance and community involvement in curbing building collapses.
He mentioned the “see something, say something” initiative launched by the Lagos State Building Control, aimed at countering land encroachment. Oki also urged the use of appropriate building materials and the need for thorough documentation of all individuals working on construction sites.
Addressing the need for collective action, Oki highlighted the importance of cooperation among various professional bodies and stakeholders. He called for a unified approach to ensure the safety and stability of constructions.
“To end building collapse in Nigeria, professional buildings must issue certificates to only recognized and verified professionals,” Oki said.
“In addressing this menace, all hands must be on deck,” Oki concluded.
“Government, stakeholders, professionals, artisans, and every member of society must be involved in proffering a lasting solution.”
The urgent call for stricter oversight and collaboration among professionals is aimed at preventing further tragedies caused by building collapses and ensuring the safety and stability of structures across Nigeria.Follow us on social media