Experts from the Nigerian Society of Engineers have attributed the myriad of failed roads and incidents of collapsed buildings in flood-prone areas of the Niger Delta region to a lack of proper geotechnical analysis, also known as soil testing, as well as an inappropriate adherence to due diligence in the application of construction inputs, among other things.
Dr. Soni Emeka Ali, a structural engineer and newly-elected Chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Warri Branch, lamented that many construction products for bitumen and concrete asphalting stabilisers are being used incorrectly in many instances and called for renewed orientation among the country’s construction professionals.
He made the submission on Saturday, at the launch of the Warri Axion Depot in Delta State.
The NSE Chairman-elect maintained that “dexterity should come to play in the design of road and high rise building construction while engineers must know how and in what proportion to apply solid base stabilizers as many products for reinforcement are being used wrongly”.
He said, “You cannot go and put your structure inside a deliberate floodplain area and expect it to be safe. No. All the due diligence of engineering still has to be observed. When you have observed the due diligence and brought everything to standard, then the advantage of the Axion products will show. But when due diligence has not been done, you are sure to encounter the same problem. So, our construction engineers must endeavor to adhere to standards at all times”.
Speaking earlier, the outgoing Chairman of the NSE, Warri Branch, Engr. Godwin Eneburan stated that “in order to avert the incidences of road and building collapses, there should be in place the right design, the right construction team, and the right application of Axion products”.
He emphasized the need for comprehensive analysis of the construction terrain “to know the type of soil and thus get the aggregate of the needed construction inputs”.
“If you do not have good design, construction will fail”, he insisted.
Eneburan added, “One of the major causes of road and building collapse, especially in the Niger Delta flood-prone areas, is more of structural analysis. If there is no proper geotechnical analysis or soil test carried out, every other thing that the structural engineer needs to design that particular structure will be adversely affected.
“Unfortunately, a lot of developers avoid engaging professional structural engineers. They merely replicate the structural plan earmarked for one particular terrain in the country to another terrain without proper geotechnical analysis of the place, which is very very dangerous because the soil in the high land, for instance, varies from the soil in the flood-prone areas”.