The Nigerian Institute of Building, NIOB has inaugurated a legal committee made up of its members who are also lawyers to work towards the implementation and compliance of existing building laws in the country.
Speaking during a visit to the institute in Abuja by the President of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, CDHR, Malachy Ugwumadu, the President of the NIOB, Kunle Awobodu, said the committee was expected to restore sanity in the building profession.
Awobodu said, “The advocacy we are trying to do with this team is to test our laws in the court. It is also to register in the consciousness of Nigerians that construction of buildings should not be all-comers affair. It is a risky business that requires expertise. If you are not licenced in the production of building, you should not superintend over building construction on site. If you are caught you are bound to face some legal consequences; that is what we are trying to do.”
He said NIOB intended to collaborate with CDHR and relevant Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to curb incidences of building collapse. The CDHR President, Ugwumadu, said the rights group was ready to collaborate with organisations which responsibility it was to provide buildings in the country as those that had responsibility to interface with institutions of government so as to curtail the incidences of building collapse.
He said, “CDHR is naturally interested in such formations that have the responsibility to deal with building and shelter activities in the country in a manner that does not compromise and jeopardise human lives. The areas of collaboration we are talking about include training and re-training, bringing them up-to-date with the reforms in the area of legislation involving building, activating and taking cases to court to test the propriety of this malfeasance happening.
“We will be failing in our duty if we do not rise or collaborate with a body like NIOB.” He added that there were laws in existence which if implemented could reduce the incidence of building collapse. Also speaking, the Chairman of the legal committee, Ehikioya Anegbe, said the committee, apart from advising the president on legal issues, would work to realise the purpose for which the institute was set up. Anegbe said, “In areas where buildings have been effectively produced, we are going to use the law to make sure that quacks are kept out of building so that we will stem the tide of building collapse.”