The case of collapsing buildings in Nigerian cities


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Posted by on Tuesday July 30, 2013 at 15:44:4:

In lots of news reports nowadays in Nigeria, there have been a couple of cases of collapsing buildings and this has been mostly located in populated cities

like Lagos and Kaduna. What causes the collapse of these buildings which are mostly storey buildings have been said to be a range of things such as wrong building plans, low quality building materials, or just old buildings outliving their useful life.

Authorities and govt in those states having this problem have even set up inquiries and agencies to stop the growing problem and even re-certify buildings to ensure that they are safe for Nigerians.

The problem with collapsing buildings is that they end up killing people who are residing in them and these are mostly tenants while the landlords or home

owners tend to run away or escape the responsibility. So what really causes the collapse of buildings in these Nigerian cities? Well, let me just list some of the causes that have been mentioned by experts:

Causes of building collapse in Nigeria
- Use of low quality building materials e.g. rod, cement, stones.
- Poor concrete mixing
- Use of unskilled construction workers and supervisors
- Ineffective regulation by government agencies: Bribery and corruption of govt agencies
- Residential buildings used for industrial purpose
- Vibrations from Power generators located close to residential buildings
- Old buildings that have outlived their useful life
- Stress on buildings

Stress is the major cause of building collapse because it is when that building can no longer support the weight it is bearing, it would eventually collapse. Building eventually break down and collapse as they grow old that is why in developed countries, a life span is normally attached to tall buildings after which they would eventually be brought down or demolished. In Nigeria, some buildings are over 120 years but still people are living in it without any precautions. Nigeria needs to develop to a state where the life of old buildings should be estimated and demolished afterwards. Also the govt agencies involved in the approval of new buildings need to ensure that pillars and the foundation done on such buildings are efficient and would not fail in the short term. They should standardize the kind of materials and plan that is to be used in constructing buildings especially storey buildings where such casualties are common.

When a tax paying citizen pays house rent for a home to live in with his family, the government also has a duty to protect their live and even compensate them in cases of such unfortunate events life a building collapse because it was the govt that approved such buildings in the first place. I think govt should be more strict about building plans that are used and the kind of pillars used too. The Standards organisation also need to work that fake or sub standard building materials are properly checked before being allowed entry into the market from imports. A lot of hands are also pointing to Asian markets like China as the main source of building materials for newly collapsed buildings in Nigeria. It is time the authorities and government take urgent steps to stop this ugly trend.

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