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General News of Thursday, 11 November 2021


Collapsed Ikoyi Building: Nigeria has failed to learn from past mistakes - Safety expert

The site of the building after it collapsed The site of the building after it collapsed

The Managing Director of Safety Consultants and Solutions Provider, and a safety expert, Anthonia Beri, has blamed incessant building collapse in the country on information gap, adding that lessons learnt from previous occurrences had not been put to good use.

Beri, who was reacting to the recent collapse of a 21-storey building in Ikoyi, Lagos, told THISDAY that there was the need for relevant authorities to intensify efforts in creating aware on the necessary steps to be taken before commencing a building project.

She identified some of these steps as obtaining planning permission, engaging qualified professionals, provision of modern facilities such as drones and GPS for effective monitoring as well as enforcement of building regulations that align with international best practice.

While the expert expressed compassion for those affected by the building collapse, directly and indirectly, she averred that the tragedy could have been averted if lessons from previous occurrences were taken and worked on.

No fewer than 48 lives were lost in the tragic building collapse in Ikoyi.

She said: “The collapse is one too many which the state has suffered for no defensible reason. With this tragedy, the looping context of the ‘safety’ of buildings in Nigeria’s megacity is yet on the centre circle.

“The abnormality of building collapse has continued to occur in almost every region of Nigeria, yet we shabbily sweep the lessons under our feet to forestall future occurrences. Tragically, structural collapses lead to loss of innocent lives and properties worth billions of naira, and we keep repeating the same vicious circle of investigations and reports that have not tame the monster from surfacing again.

“When accident happens, everyone suddenly has an opinion as the reason why the accident occurred. Sadly, often times, our lynch mentality obscures our capacity to investigate the root cause of what went wrong in order to take preventive measures.”

Beri maintained that lessons from investigations should be applied, stressing that compliance to acceptable standards should not be negotiated.

She resolved that all stakeholders, including developers, consultants, regulators, financial experts and the public, have a role to play in preventing future occurrences.

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