The Director-General of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr Joseph Odumodu, in what looked like reading a riot act, on Wednesday frowned on building contractors in the country, insisting that the organisation will force them to do the right thing if they refused to comply with its set standards to forestall incidents of building collapse.
Speaking at a South-east zonal stakeholders’ forum in Awka, Anambra State capital, yesterday on sandcrete, block and allied cement products, with the theme: ‘Safeguarding Lives Through Compliance with standards’, Odumodu expressed concern over the rising incidents of building collapse in Nigeria as a result of mismanagement by builders and contractors.
He expressed worries that Nigeria ranks high in incidences of building collapse, which he said had brought about death in most families and has also been a source of economic waste.
The SON boss warned that unless urgent steps were taken by builders and engineers to manage the sandcrete in stipulated proportion, the menace would continue.
According to Odumodu, who is also the President of African Union of Standardisation, “building can only come down if there is compromise on sandcrete which comprises sand, concrete, cement and iron rods.
“With this stakeholders’ forum, we expect that a new regime in building will set in. That means, if you build, it must have an approved design, with a certified builder as it is not an all comer affair.”
Odumodu said compromise in standard was caused by unhealthy competition among block builders and others, which leads to a drop in price and quality, but the organisation has the responsibility to enforce standard, and will continue to ensure so.