Ikoyi building collapse, unfortunate, pathetic national loss – Engineers
Some engineers have described the building collapse in Lagos State on Monday as “unfortunate and a pathetic national loss’’.
Reuters quoted the National Emergency Management Agency Coordinator for Lagos State, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye via text message on Wednesday as saying that the death toll had climbed to 22 after several bodies were recovered overnight. Nine people were pulled out alive.
The engineers gave the reaction while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
The building located at Gerrard Road was said to have been approved by the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LSBCA) to build 15 storeys, instead, the developers built it up to 21-storeys.
Mr Sharafadeen Olumoh, a National Officer of the Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineers (NICE) said the building collapse was an unfortunate occurrence, which was as a result of greed on the part of the developers.
Olumoh, who is also a member of Engineering Regulations Monitoring Committee in Kwara, reported that the institute heard that the professional that was in charge of the construction resigned from the work when the developer would not listen to his professional advice.
“The government regulatory body, especially the Lagos Building Control Agency came out to say the building was approved for 15 floors but the builder kept on moving up to 21 floors.
“ The structural engineer earlier resigned since February last year based on the fact that the developer was not listening to his instructions.
“He went to get other inexperienced engineers and kept on moving on with the project.
“People lost their lives, a lot sustained injury at the same time, and a very huge economic loss as a result of greed.’’
Speaking on what the engineering body could do to prevent such calamity from happening again, Olumoh said the professional bodies had their limitations.
“As a professional body our own limitations are there, we can only regulate the rules and operations. The government has the political power to apprehend some of the culprits involved in these types of crimes.
“ It’s unfortunate that Nigeria is recording this huge loss despite the economic depression that we are in. I hope the government will wake up,’’ Olumoh said.
Also speaking about the collapse, the immediate past National Chairman of the Nigeria Institution of Highway and Transportation Engineers, Mr Oludayo Oluyemi, said the situation was a pathetic one.
Oluyemi said that this was the highest structural failure to have occurred in Nigeria and hoped that most of victims could be brought out alive.
He wondered what the Lagos State building regulatory agencies were doing when the builder continued to raise the building that was supposedly approved for 15 storeys.
He said that the developers might have applied for additional storeys on the building, adding that the people have not heard from them to draw conclusion as to what might have gone wrong.
“If he got the approval for 15 and was doing 21, what were the Lagos state regulatory agencies like LABCA and the Ministry of Physical Planning doing when he was doing this extension if there was no approval.
“So they can’t exonerate themselves from this problem. For any building above five storeys, the ministry of physical planning ought to know which engineer is working on it, they should have their details.
“But as of now, they have not been able to point at any structural engineering firm to be responsible for the mess being created.’’
Oluyemi called on the Lagos State government to get some competent engineers together to look at the project and find out where errors had been committed, adding that this should be done in conjunction with COREN and the Nigerian Society of Engineers.
“So we should put our heads together and look at where the errors have been committed and how to avoid such errors in the future that is very germane.’’
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, had ordered the indefinite suspension of Mr Gbolahan Oki, an architect, the General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, over the collapsed building. (NAN)
source: punch ng