Two recent stories in the Punch Nigeria newspaper show that building collapse is still rife in the country. According to the first story, Nigeria recorded a total of 43 building collapse cases in 2019. This is quite high. Despite the efforts being made by the government to curb this menace, the number of building collapse cases hasn’t reduced. In the second story, the National Assembly was said to have written a letter to the National Institute of Building expressing its concern over the spate of building collapse in the country. These two stories clearly show that no significant progress has been made in the war against building collapse.
Research has shown that the major causes of building collapse cases in Nigeria are substandard building materials, structural defects, lack of professionalism, bad design and wrong foundation. However, I feel a lot of these collapses can be avoided through efficient building and construction monitoring.
Land Surveyors are usually not involved in the building monitoring process in Nigeria but a large chunk of the work done by surveyors abroad are monitoring related. They monitor buildings, railways, bridges etc.
Surveyors in developed nations carry out Monitoring Surveys and Verticality Surveys on structures frequently. Monitoring surveys are used to determine movement or deformation of a structure. Verticality surveys are used to determine whether a building or structure is completely vertical or leans towards one direction or another. If these kind of surveys are carried out on structures in Nigeria on a regular basis, we will definitely have less cases of building collapse.
The Nigerian government should partner with professional land surveyors in the fight against building collapse. Building Monitoring should be made mandatory because it will help to greatly minimize the building collapse cases in the country.
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