Lafarge Webinar Series: Thought Leaders Call for Building Code Standardization

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Wednesday,  March 17, 2021 / 1:14PM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong  for WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV


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Compliance and Standardization are some of the key areas that have to be addressed if Nigeria is to achieve a significant reduction in the cases of collapsed buildings. This was part of the key resolutions by thought leaders who participated in the Lafarge Concrete Ideas Webinar series which discussed "Addressing the Root Cause of Building Collapse in Nigeria".

 

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Adebode Adefioye said the forum was designed to brainstorm on how to move the construction industry in Nigeria to global standards.

 

Mr. Adefioye informed stakeholders that the webinar series was focused on the advocacy for integrating Health and Safety standards, into the construction and building industry in the country.

 

The Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, in his remarks at the event, listed the following as factors responsible for collapsed building in Nigeria;

  • Illegal conversion of buildings
  • The poor concrete mix ratio
  • Inadequate structural analysis
  • Inadequate supervision


The architect called for the amendment of the procurement law for Building and Construction in Nigeria, to emphasize safety, compliance, and the adoption of standards in the industry.


Adegbite also urged major manufacturers in the country to come together and work towards reducing the price of cement in the country.

 

Mallam Farouk Salim the Director-General of the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) said that due to the activities of the regulatory agency, the country now had local manufacturers producing good quality products like cement and cables.

 

He decried the fact that for a decade SON was not involved in the inspection of materials that entered into the country through the ports and terminals. The DG said the agency needs all the support to carry out its mandate of guaranteeing standard materials for building and construction in Nigeria.

 

The President, National Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) Dr.(Mrs) Bola Onigbogi noted that there were legal provisions for mandatory insurance of buildings in Nigeria, but implementation has been a niggling problem.


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She acknowledged the fact that the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), was working out methods for implementing the mandatory insurance for buildings.

 

Engineer Joseph Makoju the Chairman of, Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria said effective monitoring was critical to mitigating the risks of collapsed buildings.

 

In terms of data, he informed stakeholders that between 2007 to 2020 the incidence of collapsed buildings in Nigeria increased by 20%.

 

Engineer Dominic Akubo who represented the President of COREN Engr. Ali Rabiu,  in his contribution, made a case for the coordination of efforts amongst stakeholders in the industry. He said COREN had the mandate to inspect construction sites for compliance with stipulated guidelines.

 

He admitted that the continuously rising price of cement has led to several cases of quackery in the industry.

 

Dr. Kehinde Osifala the President of, Nigerian Institute of Structural Engineers listed a few challenges in the industry;

  • Identification of Real Engineers
  • Educating the public on the role of a Structural Engineer
  • Inadequate Manpower
  • Quality control Issues
  • Corruption
  • Lack of interest in continuous professional development
  • Training of personnel and artisans

 

On his part Mr. Michael Scharpf the Head, Sustainable Construction, Lafarge Holcim stressed the need for integrating sustainability into building and construction, which comes with responsibility and working with the entire ecosystem.

 

He said infrastructure would require high-quality engineering and design, and structural integrity.

 

The CEO of Lafarge Africa, Mr. Khaled El-Dokani in his contribution underscored the importance of compliance with regulatory standards amongst key players in the ecosystem and the need for every building to have a designer and validator.

 

El-Dokani believed it was time for all the stakeholders, to provide a value proposition for the construction sector that will mitigate the incidence of collapsed buildings in Nigeria.

 

The event was moderated by Dr. Ogho Okiti the Managing Director of BusinessDay newspaper.


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