The Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) has called for an urgent investigation to unravel the cause of the recent collapse of a building in Owerri and prosecution of those found culpable.
At least 15 persons were reportedly killed when a seven- storey building collapsed on Musa Yar’ Adua Drive, New Owerri, on April 30, 2020, Owerri, Imo State.
In a statement signed by the President of NIOB, Builder Kunle Awobodu, the institute said the incident had again brought to the front burner the problem of building production management in Nigeria.
Awobodu said, “On the latest collapsed building in Owerri, those who caused the wanton destruction of property and loss of lives should be prosecuted in order to deter quackery and negligence on building sites in Nigeria. Investigation and prosecution should not be delayed. Justice delayed is justice denied.
“While our sympathies and condolences go to those who lost their loved ones in the tragedy, the Nigerian Institute of Building solicits further cooperation and collaboration among built environment professional bodies and other relevant government agencies or organisations to bring to an end this menace of building collapse,” he said.
He lamented that the incident occurred barely a month after the Imo State Chairman of NIOB, Builder Collins Nwoko, led members on a road show round Owerri; sensitising the public on the need to engage professional builders in order to avert building collapse.
“At that rally on the Builders’ Day, March 13, 2020, the General Manager of Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA), Mr. Innocent Ikpamezie, who is an engineer, addressed NIOB members, promising to prevent recurrence of building collapse in Imo State by ensuring that prospective developers engaged professional builders to manage building production processes on their sites.