Nigeria: Lagos Building Control Agency Moves to End Quackery in Construction

The General Manager of Lagos State Building Control Agency, Mrs. Abiola Kosegbe, an engineer, has called for collaboration of professional bodies in the built environment to rid the state of quackery in the construction industry.

She made the call at the recently concluded first virtual national workshop of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), noting that whenever the agency visited building construction sites in the state, it encountered masons and iron benders calling themselves builders and engineers.

Also, Kunle Awobodu, President of the NIOB, while corroborating the views of Mrs. Kosegbe, lamented the absence of training and certification for masons and other artisans in the built sector.

"It is unfortunate that those who lack training and certification in the science of building production are engaged to handle the delicate construction process of buildings," he lamented, and urged state governors, as chief security officers of their states, to engage the Nigeria police in fishing out quacks on project sites while respecting the various professional delineations recognised in the country's laws.

He also challenged the state governors to have up-to-date development and building control laws in line with the Nigerian National Building Code.

Awobodu equally charged building clients and owners to do due diligence on the professional qualifications of those involved with the delivery of their building projects.

He stressed that the building product is an outcome of collaboration of various professional specialists, explaining that while the architect produced the architectural designs, including the spatial configuration of the building, the structural engineer designed for stability.

The registered builder on the other hand, he said, is the professional recognised by training and law to manage the actual construction and production processes for safe, sound and sustainable buildings.

"The builder deploys and manages the appropriate technology for the construction processes using some of his documents which include the construction programme, construction methodology and project quality management plan to avoid ad hoc and reactive approach to project implementation," Awobodu stated.

The NIOB workshop, which addressed building production and structural stability, attracted builders, other built environment professionals, technocrats, political actors and resource persons from various parts of the world, among them Abimbola Windapo, an associate professor in the Department of Construction Economics and Management, University of Cape Town, who spoke on building delivery processes in South Africa.

Others were Graham Teede, a past senior National Vice President of the Australian Institute of Building and an advisory board member of the South African Council for the Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP).

He gave insights on various types of foundation and approaches to handling them.

Also in attendance was Kunle Adebajo, an engineer and Managing Director of Ove Arup & Partners Nigeria Limited, and past president of the Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers, who called for team work in building project delivery.

Prof. Olabode Ogunsanmi of the Department of Building, University of Lagos, revisited the first principles and theory of structural analysis as the basis of structural design and subsequent applications in construction, at the event.

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