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Building Collapse: Imo Builders Warn Against Use of Nonprofessionals …Dishes Distinction Between Site Workers

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ThankGod Emeh…

People are warned to do away with nonprofessionals in the erection of building projects in society so as to eliminate all forms of quackery and possible damages as well as loss of lives at the long run.

The Nigeria Institute of Building, NIOB, Imo State Chapter aggressively gave the warning in a road walk to mark the 2024 Builders Week last weekend where they advised people to engage professional builders to legitimately go about the brick-on-brick building works on their sites.

Marking the 2024 Builders Week with the theme: The Role of Builders in a Sustainable Housing Delivery, the builders said the recommendations became germane following building collapses across the country, especially the recent two-storey building collapse in Anambra state.

Students of building across the tertiary institutions in the state however trooped out en masse to add their voices in the ample drummed sensitization across the state, so as to stop the incessant loss of lives and property.

Addressing the general public, the Chairman of Nigeria Institute of Building, NIOB, Imo State Chapter, Builder Dr. Andy Osuagwu stressed that “It is only builders that are permitted by law to erect buildings on sites…”, hence the urgent need to roundly engage them in the interpretation and erection of building briefs.

Builder Osuagwu urged property owners to always demand the qualifications of builders before engaging anyone in order to build and deliver buildings right, adding that the sensitization is on a daily basis and not just an annual routine hence called on government to promulgate laws to bring to book offenders in the industry.

“We will stop at nothing until the right thing is done… NIOB Imo state Chapter is not sleeping because of the issues of building collapse because if you are a Medical Doctor and someone dies in your family of a case you can handle due to negligence, it will pain you”

He noted that Architects are trained to draw, and Civil engineers are to calculate the structural loadings of the proposed building while Builders are fully in-charge for erecting the project in ground.

Builder Osuagwu however advised students of Building across board to be alive to the teachings and trainings around the profession, describing it as a noble venture that as well puts food on the table among other unending benefits.

“…Some of the students would claim that they were given Building to study but if you know what the building profession is all about; you will go home and tell your younger ones to fill Building in their JAMB forms. I have not seen any builder that is hungry”

Speaking also, the Chairman 2024 Builders Week Organizing Committee, Builder Samuel Igbokwe described the Builders Day/Week as a very enlightening programme which kicked off with radio shows and ran through “Catch Them Young” programmes with selected Schools in Imo where they were informed about the Built environment and its players including the professional builder.

Builder Igbokwe said the built environment is made up of professionals like the Architect, the structural and electrical and mechanical Engineers, the Builder, Quantity Surveyor, Land Surveyor, Town and Regional Planners; pointing out that the Architect is the one that draws and transfers the brief of the client onto a paper whereas the Engineers come about the structural detailing, then the Quantity Surveyors– costs everything as the cost estimator and hands everything to the Builder: to transfer all the details or briefs to the ground while other professionals visits the site periodically to inspect the details; cross-checking them with their papers.

Giving more insight into the programme, the immediate past Head of Department (HOD) Department of building- Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri, Builder Onwuka Ethelbert noted that the Builders Week is not only to celebrate builders but to amplify their awesome and constitutionally powered roles in the built environment as well as erecting buildings.

Builder Ethelbert added that NIOB seizes the occasion to highlight the imminent dangers that occurs when professional builders are not engaged to erect projects.

“We enlighten the public to engage a professional builder to avert collapses and the pains around it”

He harped the need for people to rightly know the distinction between who is an Architect, Civil Engineer, Surveyor and Builder as their works are clearly different, noting that no builder have ever been fingered in any building collapse because they have their specific roles in every project and do not mixup for any reason.

“No builder has been involved in building collapse in this country …and my people (builders) cannot be involved in construction of Flyovers because it is not in our area of specialization”

“We are involved in building production and its management and the maintenance process of any building”

Adding his voice, the Secretary of NIOB Imo State Chapter, Builder Nlemuzo Vitalis decried the ugly overriding of the builders work where everyone now answer Engineers on the street.

Builder Nlemuzo however urged government to do whatever deem necessary to domesticate building code to enable prosecution of offenders.

“When the building code is domesticated, you see that if a building collapses, you hold the person responsible and prosecute the person. And once this is done; you see people will run away”

The builders 2024 event which was marked across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT recorded huge success across boards with Imo Chapter rounding up with a Thanksgiving service at Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri, Imo state on Sunday, March 17, 2024 after Secondary school tours in the state to educate students on the way to go around the profession.

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