Building collapse: Surveyors want death sentence for culpable professionals

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The Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) has called for stiffer penalties, including death sentences for erring professionals responsible for building collapse.

NIQS president Olayemi Shonubi at the quarterly interactive forum organised by the Property and Environment Writers’ Association of Nigeria (PEWAN), said the inclusion of life imprisonment or death sentence to existing laws could make construction offences less attractive.

“We have gotten to a stage where professional blacklisting as a 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,” Mr Shonubi. “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 as curb these untoward developments.”

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

“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,” the NIQS added. “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.”

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

Environment Writers’ Association (PEWAN), Okwy Ireagbu-Chikezie, enumerated the benefits of the Executive Order 11, recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari for the maintenance of national public buildings.

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


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