Immediate past president, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr. Kunle Awobodu, has said that investment in the real estate sector is one without gestation period. Awobodu said such investment is an important contribution that provides appreciable returns.
He said that investment in buildings that will not stand the test of time endangers the lives of occupants and is an investment in futility. He also advised that every developer should endeavour to deliver a building with the intention of personally occupying it.
Awobodu who is also the pioneer President, Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), noted that the importance of insurance for buildings cannot be overemphasised. According to him, any developer that is in doubt of the stability or quality of building(s) already constructed by him or her should have the courage to contact the relevant professionals for remedy or do the needful by demolishing it. He added that keeping quiet on such defective buildings could lead to disaster for many.
“It is pertinent to seize this oppourtunity and remind those handling building projects for their relations and friends in the diaspora to bear in mind that God has a way of rewarding sincere people that do not engage in the diversion of project funds to the detriment of building production quality.
“Morality and ethics can help raise the bar for our entire building industry. Earnestly, if any of our professional colleagues performs below expectations, please, do not hesitate to report him or her early to the relevant professional regulatory body for necessary disciplinary actions.
“Those who invest rightly are considered wise developers. May the developers in our building construction realm become wise and lessen the fears of incessant building collapse,” he said.
Speaking earlier at the inaugural lecture of Prof. Gabriel Babawale, an estate surveyor and valuer at the main auditorium of the University of Lagos on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 Awobodu rekindled the importance of mechanical engineering in real estate.
Awobodu said real estate and housing development have become an alternative booming business for investors following the collapse of the stock exchange and manufacturing in Nigeria. “So many business-oriented people, who possess no training in building construction have flooded the nation’s construction sphere with little respect for professionalism and due process.
“When there is no eligibility criteria, requirements or qualifications that restrict admission into a sensitive and critical sector, the consequence will endanger human lives and property.
In an all comers affair, where professional advice is hardly adhered to as profiteering is elevated above safety, compromise becomes the order of the day. “This abnormal and unacceptable situation became a concern to those of us. Town planners, land surveyors, architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, builders, and estate surveyors & valuers came together to form a coalition named Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) in 2011. Of course, the membership was huge and well spread across different localities and reticulated into various cell formations.
“The ubiquitousness of our members was to augment the low capacity of the government staff at monitoring the massive expanse of developed and rapidly developing built environment.
“The extensive BCPG network enabled information on substandard building construction works and distressed buildings get to the notice of the relevant government staff. The system was result-oriented, effective, and still subsisted in a unity and sincerity of purpose,” he said.