SON TO TACKLE INCIDENCE OF BUILDING COLLAPSE IN NIGERIA

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DG, SON , Mallam Farouk Salim and Director, Directorate of Compliance and Inspectorate, SON, Pious Lawan at the SON warehouse in Lagos for the destruction of seized Substandard Products on Thursday.

– Destroyed Seized Substandard Products in Lagos

By Innocent Orok

The Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) has stepped up it’s game to address the incidences of incessant building collapse in Nigeria. The Director General of the agency, Mallam Faruok Salim made this known to newsmen in Lagos on Thursday.

According to him , the press conference was necessitated by the unfortunate incidents of building collapse in the country, which has resulted in the loss of lives, jobs, finance, and environmental degradation amongst others.

He assured the National Standards Body (NSB), the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is committed to ensuring the safety and integrity of structures across the nation and recognizes the need for a comprehensive approach to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.

He further said, “the Organisation is of the view that compliance with Standards Specifications and Codes of Practice plays a fundamental role in reinstating the eroding confidence of Nigerians in the Nigerian Building Industry.

“In compliance with the Organisation’s mandate under Section 5(1) (b) of the SON
Act N0.14 of 2015 to undertake investigations into the quality of facilities, systems, services, materials and products, whether imported or manufactured in Nigeria, in line with this mandate, it is important to highlight that the major responsibility of SON in the incidence of a building collapse is visit the site, collect samples, analyze in our different laboratories and submit our findings to the appropriate authority or Investigative Panel set up by the State Government where the incident occurred for further actions.

The Organisation has carried out a number of investigations on building collapse in the country”, the SON boss said.

Salim also enumerated the causes of building collapse to include, “Findings from the investigation of building collapses revealed that the reoccurring root causes of most building collapse include: Poor structural designs, Quackery and unprofessionalism, Inadequate soil testing Poor Construction Practices and Procedures, Unapproved construction
Wrong demolition process, Lack of maintenance, Negligence, Use substandard materials(Steel reinforcement bars). Poor Drainage around the collapsed buildings.

“The mission of attaining a safe environment for the citizens of Nigeria through standardization and quality assurance is unending and the Organisation in collaboration with other sector regulators including the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Raw Materials, Research and Development Council (RMRDC), the Ministry of Works and other developments agencies at both the state and federal levels is working tirelessly to address this menace.

“Section 5(1) (a) of the SON ACT NO: 14 of 2015 empowers the Organisation to organize tests and do everything necessary to ensure compliance with standards designated and approved by the Council. Some of the measures adopted by the Organisation to ensure compliance with approved standards in the Building industry are”.

He said 168 Standards and Codes of practice for the building and construction industry are available and will be enforced for compliance. He listed such to include
NIGERIAN INDUSTRIAL STANDARD NIS 117: 2004 Specification for Steel Bars
for The Reinforcement of Concrete .NIGERIAN INDUSTRIAL STANDARD NIS 499: 2004 Standard for Iron and Steel and NIGERIAN INDUSTRIAL STANDARD NIS 588: 2007 Testing Hardened Concrete etc.

SON further said that the National Standardization and Quality Assurances Committee for the Building and Construction Industry in Nigeria was inaugurated by the Director General/ Chief
Executive SON.

The members of the committee are drawn from 35 agencies including the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Raw Material and Research Development Council (RMRDC) who are all critical stakeholders in the construction industry.
The terms of reference of the committee include:

“To identify causes of building and construction failures in Nigeria. Establish best codes of practices for each recognized building and construction
industry professional.

Establish best codes of practice for activities on building and construction sites. Develop a quality assurance programme for implementation, monitoring, and enforcement of standards and codes within the building and construction sector”.

SON also said it has regularly carried out nationwide campaigns to educate the public on the
dangers of using substandard materials, the importance of adhering to building codes,
and the need for regular inspections and maintenance of buildings.

Also on Stakeholders sensitizations for Block Molders and cement-related products such as
Concrete poles, Kerbs, Concrete rings, etc. are regularly carried out and artisans are engaged on the need to constantly update their knowledge and hone their skills.

Meanwhile, SON on Thursday in Lagos at its warehouse , carried out the destruction of substandard tyres and other products seized by the agency across Nigeria.

The Director General of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim told journalists that , the substandard products came into the Country through the Seaports and border stations and was intercepted by his Officers .

He assured that, SON will continue to carry out is statutory functions of making sure Nigerians adhere to standards, even though as he boosted that the activities of the agency has drastically reduced substandard and fake products being imported into the Country.

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