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Anambra Builders Mark Annual Event, Urge Adherence to National Building Code to Curb Building Collapses

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By Chinwendu Uzoatu

The Nigerian Institute of Builders (NIOB), Anambra State Chapter, recently held their annual week, in Awka, Anambra State capital.

This year’s event with the theme, ‘The Role of Builders in Sustainable Housing Delivery’, evolved a lot of activities.

Speaking with journalists at St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, G.R.A. Awka, after their thanksgiving service, the chairman of the institute, Bldr. Kingsley O. Nweke stated that it is an annual event which they organise in order to sensitize people on issues concerning building to avoid building collapse.

He said: “We are here because of Builder’s Week. It is a week we tell the world, Nigeria in particular, that we, builders are working to build environment. We do it because there has been a lot of building collapses like in Lagos, where 20 students lost their lives and others all over the country.”

Nweke said that they realized there is lack of information about the right person to be engaged in building construction.

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“So every year, we go for road activities including schools to catch them young, churches, radio and television programs. We visited community secondary schools, government parastatals, Commissioner for Housing, among others, sensitizing people to engage builders in order to avoid building collapses. This year, we have successfully done the needful in respect to Builders’ Week. Today, we have come to thank God for successful outings during the week.”

Nweke advised people to always hand building documents over to the builder for construction.

“Also during design, government approval agencies should request for builder documents as part of approved documents, which will help the developers to have first contact with the builders in order to avoid ignorance of not knowing who should handle the construction process.”

Answering questions on who is a builder, Vice Chairman of the institute, Bldr. Ikenna Okpalla said: “A builder is an academically trained specialist and a statutory registered professional responsible for building production management, construction and maintenance of buildings for the use and protection of man. A builder must be a member of the Nigerian Institute of Builders (NIOB) and Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON).”

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Okpalla pointed out that the problems resulting to building collapses can come from the government, professionals themselves and clients; even as he stated that buildings can fall due to natural forces while others are manmade. He called on the government to demonstrate the National Building Code in all the states of the federation.

He finally explained that if things are done properly, building collapses can be corrected.

It is important to note that NIOB fixed 13th March, every year for their event, in remembrance of a five-storey building that collapsed at Ita-Faaji, Lagos State, five years ago, that killed 20 school children.

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