Surveyors advocate death sentence to curb building collapse




 The President, Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Mr Olayemi Shonubi, has called for stiffer penalties including death for erring professionals who cause building collapse.

Shonubi made the call on Tuesday during the Quarterly Interactive Forum organised by Property and Environment Writers’ Association of Nigeria (PEWAN) in Lagos.

He said the inclusion of life imprisonment or death sentence to existing laws could make construction offences less attractive.

He lamented the rising spate of collapse of buildings under construction in recent times accompanied by loss of lives, property, investment and income/livelihood caused by corruption.

He advised the Lagos State government to strengthen policies for obtaining planning approvals/building permits and enforcement of existing laws to ensure adequate monitoring of constructions.

“The governments at all levels need to strengthen the laws that govern the construction process and should include provisions for severe penalties, not only fines, for everyone involved in any collapsed building project from approval level to execution level.

“Endemic corruption at all levels has blinded most from adherence to professionalism and so much so that they don’t care to sacrifice money for human life.

“We have gotten to a stage where professional blacklisting as punitive measure alone is not sufficient and no longer addresses the issue as erring professionals can always get something else to do to make a living.

“But when an erring professional is made to face life imprisonment or death sentence, I reckon that this will help to bring sanity as well curb these untoward developments,” he said.

While lamenting the skyrocketing costs of construction materials, he called for adoption of locally sourced materials and technology to bring down the cost of building.

Shonubi urged the federal government to adopt policies that would encourage local production and tackle energy cost to aid manufacturing.

“It will be a win win for us because it will create employment and bring down the cost of forex,” he said.

He commended the federal government for signing the Executive Order 11, which he noted would create employment opportunities for artisans to be engaged in the maintenance of government assets nationwide.

“The maintenance of government assets will further demonstrate the conscious efforts by the government towards meeting some of the sustainable development goals by the United Nations,” he said.

Earlier, while delivering her welcome address, Chairperson, Property and Environment Writers’ Association (PEWAN), Mrs Okwy Ireagbu-Chikezie, enumerated the benefits of the Executive Order 11 recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari for the maintenance of national public buildings.

Ireagbu-Chikezie reeled out efforts of government but stressed the need for more expertise to achieve the desired results in implementation of the laudable policy.

“This meeting was consummated to sensitise property and environment writers on critical issues plaguing the real estate sector.

“It is expected to proffer solutions to foreseeable challenges as the outcome of the meeting will serve as a guide to chart a direction and create clear roadmaps to improve our service delivery,” she said. (NAN) 

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