The Minister of the FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has said integrity tests have commenced on abandoned buildings and that those that fail the tests will be demolished.
The minister disclosed this when a delegation of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIB) led by its Third National Vice President, Bimbo Kolade, paid a courtesy visit to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) at the weekend.
Malam Bello commended the institute for the survey it carried out on abandoned buildings in the territory.
In a statement, the minister’s spokesman, Mr. Anthony Ogunleye, quoted the minister as saying, “If you look at the quantum of buildings, both public and private, within the FCT, in terms of the period within which they were put up, I think no city in Nigeria will match what has been put here, and all that has been done with great collaboration by members of the building institute; and that’s why your institute is very important in the socio-economic development of this great country.”
Speaking on building collapse in the country, the minister charged members of the institute to be firm and more professional when enforcing building rules to earn credibility and acceptability from the public.
Malam Bello further said certain factors such as facilities for physically challenged people, security and fire-fighting were being taken into consideration in the construction of public buildings in the FCT, and charged builders to insist on the inclusion of such facilities when constructing buildings.
He added that, “I have seen quite a number of buildings here approved by the relevant FCTA agencies, and I always ask them, these massive buildings with so many shops, how are the people going to park their vehicles? In the event of crisis, how can people be evacuated? So, I think we should go beyond just trying to get the maximum utilisation of a square metre.
“As an institution, your code of conduct should make your members decide if a building shouldn’t be built based on faulty design or faulty material or faulty location. Let your members say they are not going to participate. I think if you are able to do that, you will reach a certain level whereby people will have no option but to believe in you.”
The leader of the delegation, Kolade, implored the minister to explore recommendations made by the institution in the report on building collapse in the FCT.