2nd April, 2012
The Lagos State Safety Commission has vowed to halt the sharp practices going on in the built industry which has led to the collapse of several buildings in recent times, adding that such acts can no longer be tolerated.
The Director-General, DG, of the commission, Mrs Odebunmi Dominga, who spoke during an interactive session held at Magodo, Ketu in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, lamented that lots of sharp practices were ongoing in the built industry as contractors used inferior materials to erect structures that would end up collapsing in few years.
“The commission has identified sharp practices in the market. People get permits to build houses and end up using substandard materials to build the houses. We are strengthening the process of obtaining the permit but make it easier.
“If given permit, the commission can investigate and withdraw that certificate if not complied with in order to ensure standard. We have the power to withdraw such certificate when the contractor engages in sharp practice.
“Soon, we will be going round to sensitise construction workers to comply with standard,” she stated.
She also decried the poor safety culture in the country, saying that in terms of safety culture worldwide, the nation is on level zero, adding that “we want to rise to three or four in the level. The government has to bite if one decides to work against the law.”
Dominga further said the commission had put machinery in motion to go after illegal safety professionals with a view to prosecuting them to serve as deterrent to others.
According to her, the quest for survival had led many people to dabble into the safety profession even when they did not have the basic qualification, saying that such would not be tolerated.
“We have discovered that some miscreants just sit down and decide to dabble into this. Anybody who brands himself as safety professional when they are not will be caught and prosecuted.
“The law makes it clear that every safety professional must register with the commission. We have training programme which they can do to qualify them as safety professionals. We are dead serious that safety has to be a lifestyle in Lagos State,” she said.
The DG added that the commission had decided to use advocacy to curb nuisance among commercial bus drivers on the state’s highways, saying that the drivers would be made to embrace attitudinal change in order to enhance safety on the road.