Tackling Causes of Frequent Building Collapse in Nigeria

  •  S.A. Oloyede    
  •  C.B. Omoogun    
  •  O.A. Akinjare    


A building, once properly constructed is expected to be in use for a very long time.  Although every society has its own problems and Nigeria is not an exception yet the very recent challenges of buildings collapsing in various locations have been giving the various arms of government and the people of Nigeria sleepless nights in view of the enormous loss of huge investments in housing, properties and human life. The major challenge on the issue of building collapse is that individuals differ radically from one another on the professional to blame as the major cause of the collapse of a building. This study reviews current challenges in the building industry in relation to collapse of buildings, loss of lives and properties. Data for the study were obtained through structured questionnaires administered to landlords and professionals in the construction industry in addition to academia in the built environment. Historical data of past collapsed buildings in Nigeria were also discussed. Findings from the three prominent groups were varied. First, building experts blamed building collapses on the use of low quality building materials coupled with employment of incompetent artisans and weak supervision of workmen on site. Second, public opinion revealed that the blames of building collapse were due to non-compliance with specifications/standards, use of substandard building materials and equipments and the employment of incompetent contractors. Third, opinion of the academia on remote causes of building collapse showed that the route causes are mainly the non-enforcement of existing laws and endemic poor work ethics of Nigerians at large. The study recommends that the press should lay more emphasis on educating the public at large on the dangers of the collapse of a building and less on public emotions. In addition, government should, on one hand, embark on proactive steps by mustering enough political will to allow the Town Planning Authorities to perform their functions unfettered and on the other hand, provide the legal framework that can improve and ensure smoother, less time-consuming and less burdensome ways to conduct business in the functioning of law courts.

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