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95% Lagos houses constructed without soil test – Expert

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Dr Akinsola Olufemi, a construction expert, on Wednesday warned that 95 per cent of buildings in Lagos State were constructed without soil tests.

He said that such buildings could be at risk of collapse.

Olufemi, Director, Applied Research and Technology Innovation (ARTI), Yaba College of Science and Technology (Yabatech), gave the warning during a hybrid 2022 Builders’ Business Conference in Ikeja.

The theme for the event was “Effective Building Production Management Services: Integration of Construction Programme of Works and Building Construction Methodology in Building Project Delivery in Lagos State”.

The capacity building programme was organised by the Lagos State Chapter of Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) for its members in collaboration with the Berger Paint Plc.

The expert stressed the need to determine the load bearing capacity of any soil through tests before actual construction to prevent building collapse due to excess weight.

“Almost 95 per cent of construction done in Lagos are done without soil test. No matter what you are constructing, do a soil test.

“The significance of soil test is, it lets you know the capacity of the soil and the load it can carry. So that it should not carry more load than it can,” he said.

Olufemi said that a recent research by his team revealed that 80 per cent of Nigerians built their personal houses without engaging the services of qualified developers.

This, according to him, resulted in various construction errors.

“Construction of property in Nigeria 80 per cent are private individuals which will be their own houses and they don’t have consultants not to talk of engaging in soil investigations,” he said.

He said that only a few of the organised big developers carried out soil tests, noting that, some others cut corners to submit analysis from nearby project sites to regulators as theirs.

“A lot of buildings are collapsing today because we do not do things right in Nigeria,” he said.

Olufemi said that construction methodology which was the focus of the conference was a key element that all contractors required on site, adding that.professional builders must ensure compliance.

The expert, who is also President, Nigerian Academy of Facility Management, called for the political will on the part of the Lagos State Government to enforce standards.

Olufemi, also National Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Builders in Maintenance and Facility Management, said the nation’s obsolete tertiary curriculum was recently reviewed to capture the emerging trends of building production.

The Chairman of the Lagos chapter of Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr Lucky Isename, said construction methodology was part of the four important elements needed for quality construction.

Isename said it was a major aspect included in the Builders’ Document, captured in laws of Lagos which building professionals use, hence the focus on the theme at the workshop.

Senior Development Officer, Berger Paint Plc, Mrs Nike Ajayi, while making slide presentations, enumerated the benefits of using right paint specifications.

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Grace Alegba

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.

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