By Zainab Oyekan
Mr Mike Yilbial, Chairman Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA) Plateau Chapter, has urged developers in the state to seek advice from building professionals before erecting any structure in order to avoid collapse.
Yilbial said this in a statement made available to the press on Thursday in Jos during a visit to the building collapse site at Dilimi.
He said that the council commiserated with those who lost their loved ones and prayed for those wounded for quick recovery.
He said that building collapse in Nigeria was fast becoming an epidemic with needless loss of lives and properties.
“As professionals in the building industry we are very worried that buildings continue to collapse and the remedies seem beyond our individual professional bodies, ‘’ he said.
He said that the problems of building collapse would require the involvement of various professional bodies in the creation of buildings and the environment to come together to brainstorm .
The chairman said that the council was at the site to do a preliminary investigation on the cause of the collapse, to find out the involvement of members in this disaster and to advise all parties concerned on how to avoid future occurrence.
He said that the investigation showed that no member of the professional building industry was involved in the design or construction of the building leading to compromise in the design and materials.
He also said that there were no approved drawings for the building and that a second remodeling work was being carried out on the ground floor when the building collapsed.
Yilbial, however advised building owners to stop patronizing people who are not licensed to practice as building professional.
He called on building professional bodies to work together as a team, saying that they would be more forceful if there was synergy between various building professionals.
He said that government agencies should ensure proper approval and monitoring of on-going construction on site to enforce compliance with approved plans.
The chairman advised government to create laws to punish people who were found wanting in the entire building process leading to the collapse of a building as it will sanitize the construction industry.
He further said that if these pieces of advice were followed we may not only reduce but eliminate the incidence of building collapse.