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Engineers Seek to Review the National Building Code

Following the constant collapse of structures in the country, engineers have called for the review of the national building code before its passage into law.

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The engineers under the aegis of Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers (NIStructE) said some aspects of the current building code are not applicable to engineering structures.

President of the institution, Oreoluwa Fadayomi, revealed the position of the body during a press conference in Lagos and also called for a legislation, which would give a charter to NIStructE and forbid engineers that have not been admitted into the institution from working on structural engineering projects across Nigeria.

He alleged that some private developers are not engaging the services of structural engineers to prepare their design calculations, drawings and specifications.

“To eliminate quackery, there is the need for all drawings for building approvals to carry NIStructE stamp alongside the COREN stamp. Activities of developers must be regulated by the government while states should establish building control agencies and make regulations to control building industry in their states,” he added.

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The institution also want structural engineers to provide professional indemnity insurance cover from reputable insurance companies for their projects.

According to him, only registered members of the institution should be entrusted with structural engineering design and construction supervision.

“As part of the design process, it should be mandatory for subsoil investigation on all building sites except for simple structures, while zero tolerance to kickbacks and corruption in the award of contracts for building projects should be ensured.

“All types of building designs from outside the country must be countersigned to meet local conditions and specifications.” While noting the catalog of building collapses and the high casualty figures over the years, Fadayomi, also want the practice of consultancy, construction and maintenance on buildings to be restricted to professionals in the relevant field of building construction.

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“If a building collapse, the site should be cordoned off immediately and rescue operation carried out in a controlled manner to preserve the evidence that investigators would need to ascertain the causes of the failure.

“After Investigation, the culprits should be prosecuted and punished in accordance with the law to serve as a deterrent to others,” he added.

According to him, there is the need for an audit of all engineering workforce to ensure that round pegs are put in round holes.

He also advised engineers in key positions to be firm and resist undue pressure to engage in unethical practices.

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Source: The Guardian

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Layomi Udemagwuna

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