The Department of Development Control, Federal Capital Territory Administration, has formed a seven-man committee aimed at preventing building collapses within the nation’s capital.
Mr. Mukhtar Galadima, the Director of the department, shared with the media following the committee’s inauguration in Abuja on Wednesday that this initiative forms part of proactive measures to address the frequent incidents of building collapses.
Galadima emphasized, “We don’t need to wait for another building to collapse before taking action. This is why we have formed the committee to investigate structures that lack the necessary structural stability for human habitation.”
He continued, “It’s crucial to inspect and identify such structures, perform integrity tests, and, if necessary, implement remedial measures or even demolish the structure if it’s deemed unstable. The committee will also be vigilant for structures that may appear stable but do not meet the required standards, and will recommend integrity tests.”
Galadima pointed out that the committee would also provide recommendations on how to minimize building collapses in the FCT to the lowest possible level. Additionally, the committee would suggest qualified entities to conduct integrity tests.
He further noted that the committee comprises representatives from various bodies, including the Council for Registered Engineers of Nigeria, Town Planners Registration Council, and Builders Registration Council. Others include the National Institute of Building and Road Research Institute, as well as the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, among others.
Describing the task as a “national duty,” the director indicated that the committee has a two-month timeframe for its initial mandate. Galadima warned that any department official involved in unethical practices would face disciplinary action in accordance with civil service regulations and applicable laws.
The committee’s chairman, Mr. Allabeh Ndirmbula, highlighted that building collapses result from a variety of factors, including materials, construction methods, design flaws, misuse, unprofessional work, aging structures, and natural disasters, among others.
Ndirmbula, a former president of the Town Planners Registration Council, stressed that the committee would work diligently to address these issues, with a particular focus on Phase 1 areas of the FCT, namely Wuse 1 and 2, Garki, and Asokoro.
“We can’t change what has already occurred, but we are focused on the future. Our goal is to establish a system that prevents building collapses from happening,” he explained.
Mr. Ajibade Adeyinka, a Deputy Director in Development Control and the committee’s secretary, described the building industry as a “complex sector” with numerous professionals involved in various interconnected aspects of constructing buildings for specific purposes.
Adeyinka pointed out, “However, there have been numerous compromises along the way, involving developers, building owners, on-site professionals, issues related to unqualified individuals, and inadequate supervision and monitoring.”
He concluded, “This committee aims to evaluate existing structures, processes, and procedures and make necessary adjustments if any issues are identified. Building collapses are typically associated with ongoing construction, but we are also considering completed and occupied structures in our assessments.”
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