Mr Bosun Jeje, the Former Lagos State Commissioner for Housing, has proffered solutions to the incessant building collapse, warning that if approvals granted developers are not monitored effectively, the menace would not cease to occur:
“It is not just the approval, you see many of the developers taking the approvals and going ahead to have sub-standard materials in the construction of those approvals they have. So, we need to have effective monitoring of those approvals after they have gotten them so that we don’t have issues of collapse buildings again.
“The root cause of building collapse mostly is sub-standard materials because developers are ready to make a profit at any cost by using five bags of cement instead of 10 bags. They are ready to compromise at any level so that they can have the construction going on.
“It is now the duty of the monitoring aspect to ensure that right materials are used.”
He appealed to the citizens again to ensure that “they use the right materials so that we don’t have the repeat of the sad incident as it happened in Lagos recently.”
While admitting that developers could be blamed, he said the government should be encouraged to have the political will to take decisions on whatever it has said, regretting that absence of required political will that led to some of the defective buildings still standing up till date:
“But once you have decided and you are ready to take the bull by the horns, you would not have the buildings still standing up. Once they are marked for demolition, you go ahead to demolish them. And if you need to rehabilitate some people, then you have to make provision for that.”
He saw nothing wrong prosecuting any developer found guilty of using sub-standard materials leading to building collapse: “Once a building has gone down, and it is discovered that sub-standard materials are the root cause of the collapse, there is nothing wrong in prosecuting the developer.
“The approval aspect is going to be looked into. We have to ensure that every building has approval. Outside the approval, there must be a monitoring aspect. We must monitor structures that are being constructed. We must look at it and ensure that the right materials are used. These are the measures that will stop the collapse of the building. Once you don’t monitor them, developers are ready to compromise at any level.
“But when they know that the monitoring agents would soon be around, or that they could come around at any time, they would try as much as possible to ensure that they comply with the building instructions. Those are just the aspects we have to reinforce. If we don’t do that, the menace would continue.”