Saturday, July 8, 2017

IMO BUILDING COLLAPSE: NSE BLAMES AGENCIES, CONTRACTORS

The Imo chapter of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has blamed regulatory agencies and Owerri Capital Development Agency (OCDA) for incessant building collapse in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that two three storey buildings under construction collapsed at Obinze and Umuguma, both in Owerri West Local Government Area, on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

The Chairman of NSE in the state, Engr Emeka Ugoanyawu, said shortly after visiting the scenes, blamed contractors for not engaging professional engineers in most building constructions.

Ugoanyawu said that people in the state were known for engaging non-professionals for building projects.

He said NSE would probe incessant building collapse in the state and urged security agencies to ensure the immediate clearing of the rubble at the sites to either recover corpses or save lives.

The chairman said that NSE would sanction any engineer directly involved in any of the two buildings.

Also, the NSE Secretary, Engr Ebere Ononiwu, blamed OCDA for not supervising buildings in the state.

He said “OCDA is a government organisation vested with the powers to approve and regulate building but they have fallen short of the standard.

“How can OCDA approve a building for construction but will never supervise the building until it is completed?”

Ononiwu also accused the agency of not having qualified engineers to conduct building inspections and that the gap had given rise to quackery in the industry.

“This is the major reason why quacks have taken over the job of professional engineers and if the situation is not urgently addressed, everybody will be exposed to serious danger,” he said.

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A member of the International Federation of Consultant Engineers, Engr Emmanuel Obiakor, said there was no guarantee for any building handled by a quack.

“I can tell you that no professional engineer has a stake in these two collapsed buildings,” Obiakor said.

He said that the popular practice in Imo was engaging quacks and non-professionals for building projects, which was counterproductive.

“It is cheaper for clients to consult professionals to handle their job than using quacks,” Obiakor said.

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