Yesterday, a three storey building collapsed in Owerri, trapping about ten people, out of which at least three of them have been confirmed dead. This is not the first time it is happening, neither is it peculiar to Owerri or Imo State in particular. Buildings have been collapsing everywhere, including in the Western world. Available statistics show that Lagos and Abuja record the highest number of collapsed buildings in Nigeria. There are also few of such incidents in the Western world.
Town Planning Authorities have a role to play in averting these tragedies. Ensuring strict adherence to approved building codes will go a long way in saving innocent lives and costs lost in these avoidable tragedies.
Builders should avoid the temptation of cutting corners and saving costs. It is always more cost effective when you buy the right building materials and patronize the right people. In the bid to save costs, you are likely to end up losing much more.
Professional builders should be sincere with their clients. Most times, it is not the clients who decide to buy 12mm rods instead of 16mm, it is the engineers. Sometimes, the clients actually pay for 16mm, but the so-called professional builder, believes that 10mm when used in a certain way can do as well as 16mm, most times, they are proven wrong.
Dishonest contractors are some of the most dangerous people you can have anything to do with. The same way they dupe government by building low quality roads, is the same way they cheat their private clients by building low quality projects. Some contractors do not know how to separate their profit from the main contract sum. Some of them start spending from the contract sum even before they start their job, and before you know it, they get stuck in the job, hence, resorting to cutting costs in materials and labor in order to meet up.