Nigeria: Utomi, Others Task Niob On Building Collapse, Affordable Housing

11 January 2022

Prof. Pat Utomi, founder, Centre for Values in Leadership, has advised Nigeria Institute of Building (NIOB), to address corruption and scarcity of artisans in Nigeria's construction industry to curb building collapse in the country.

Utomi made the call recently in Ikeja at the Nigerian Institute of Building's (NIOB) inaugural memorial lecture in honour of late Pa Fatai Osikoya, its first President and Nigeria's first registered builder.

Giving a keynote address, tagged "Building Collapse as Metaphor," Utomi said that all hands must be on deck towards bridging the shelter gap.

He blamed building collapse on moral decadence, corruption, regulatory agencies' negligence, dearth of skilled artisans, among others, urging NIOB to tackle the issue to save lives and investments.

He also urged NIOB to always engage the building regulatory agencies to rightly enforce laws to eliminate quacks in the industry and guarantee quality assurance in building production and management.

He urged Nigeria to emulate housing development and delivery in advanced economies to bridge shelter gap and transform the nation's economic fortune.

Utomi insisted that former President Shehu Shagari's mass housing model was the best the nation had ever adopted because it tackled issues of affordability and availability while capturing all segments of the society.

He urged NIOB to take charge in correcting anomalies including the dearth of skilled artisans to tackle Nigeria's housing deficit and housing needs.

"Our country is sadly the terrain of quackery in many areas of endeavour. Why is this so much more pronounced in the building space?

"This association (NIOB) must do what it takes to reassure Nigerians that buildings can and will be safe. Excuses are not part of the social contract, buck-passing and finger-pointing are not accepted from professionals," he said.

Utomi said the endemic culture of corruption affecting the building and other sectors could end if Nigeria learn from countries like Hong Kong, Singapore and others who have reversed disposition to corruption.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Miss Taiwo and Kehinde Oluyale, twin sisters who graduated with first class from the department of Building, Federal University of Technology, Akure, were celebrated and given cash donations and scholarships.

The Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria Prof. Kabir Bala, who led the fund raising for the twins, emphasised the importance of professionalism in taming the ugly trend of building collapse.

Mrs Folasade Laja, Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB); Mrs Adenike Said' National Chairperson, Association of Professional Women Builders of Nigeria; National Vice President, NIOB, Mr Bimbo Kolade; First Class twin graduates of Federal University of Technology, Akure, Miss Taiwo and Kehinde Oluyale; Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. Kabir Bala; Mrs Bolanle Araba, Immediate Past Chairman, College of Fellows and Dr Samson Opaluwah, Immediate Past Vice Chairman of Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria during Pa Fatai Osikoya inaugural memorial annual lecture organised by the Lagos chapter of NIOB on Friday in Lagos

President of NIOB, Prof. Yohana Izam, represented by Mr Bimbo Kolade a fellow of the institute, described late Pa Osikoya, who died on June 6, 2021, as an icon whose contribution was immeasurable.

He reeled out achievements of the late icon and several other professional bodies where he left indelible marks, adding that the annual lecture series would always bring together policy makers, economists and building experts.

Dr Samson Opaluwah, immediate past Vice Chairman, Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), urged government at all levels to see mass housing as a must to eradicate poverty in the nation.

President, Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria, Mr Akinloye Oyegbola, who was chairman of the occasion, eulogised the virtues of the late Osikoya.

He prayed that the essence of the lecture, which included Osikoya's times and all he represented, were upheld while calling for expansion of the annual event to become a public lecture.

Prof. Kunle Wahab, who was Osikoya's closest ally and other speakers, took turns to proffer solutions to housing needs while eulogizing virtues of the man of many qualities and competencies.

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