13th January, 2022
By Grace Alegba
Mr. Akin Oyegbola, the President of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN) has advised the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) to reposition itself for collaboration with governments to tackle the menace of building collapse.
Oyegbola said this during the 2022 Biennial General Meeting and elections of new BCPG National and Lagos Chapter executives in Ikeja on Thursday.
He urged the guild to adopt urgent measures to ensure regulatory agencies enforced building laws.
He stressed the need for synergy among the seven built environment professionals to educate Nigerians on the need to engage the right experts in various stages of construction.
Oyegbola also stressed the need for a better working relationship among the professional bodies where duties overlapped to be able to restrict themselves to their core areas of expertise.
He commended the efforts of the guild in building the capacity of its members but bemoaned the inability of the group to prevent building collapse.
He cited the 21-storey building that collapsed on Gerrard Road in Ikoyi on Nov. 1, 2021, as an example of low success and recurring building collapse.
He added that the guild joined in rescue efforts whereas it should have prevented the incidence.
“The guild seemed to be more visible and effective during the rescue and evacuation exercises at the collapse site than it is in the prevention of the building collapse.
“What makes the guild original and unique is the fact that it set out on the path of prevention of building collapse.
“The guild is still a far cry from the realization of its set objectives in this regard,” he said.
He said professionals should address the causes of building collapse so that they would not have to be dissipating energy on investigations.
He assured that the APBN would continually play its role of ensuring harmonious relationships among professional bodies while addressing various challenges.
The outgoing president of BCPG, Mr. George Akinola, however, said building collapse had affected the image of Nigeria.
Akinola said the BCPG was seeking partnerships with states across Nigeria to stop the ugly trend but lamented that the government of Lagos State had been “paying lip service” to efforts for effective collaboration.
He thanked the government of Ogun which had begun a collaboration with the guild on policies towards curbing the menace.
He added that Akwa Ibom was also taking steps to partner with the guild.
Mr. Kunle Awobodu, the founder and pioneer president of BCPG, said the guild was determined to eliminate the quacks responsible for most of the infractions causing building collapse.
Awobodu called for sustainability in partnerships and transparency on the part of governments in the fight to prevent collapse.
Outgoing General Secretary, (BCPG), Mr. Ime Udo, said in the past three years building collapse had been on the increase nationwide with Lagos State topping the chart.
The newly elected president of BCPG, Mr. Eddy Atumonyogo, called for the support of all members.