A foremost Estate surveyor and valuer, Chief Damian Okolo, has attributed the frequent collapse of buildings in the country to general decadence in the society.
Okolo, who is also a lawyer and chartered administrator, said that it was because of the decay in the society that people build without approved plan designed by qualified architects and structural engineers.
Against this backdrop, said Okolo, such buildings right from the foundation have inherent problem because there was no input at all from the professionals in the building industry.
He said all the soil texture are not the same and therefore the foundation for buildings cannot be the same everywhere, saying it was this faulty foundation that caused building collapse.
The soil texture in 3-3 Onitsha that is rocky cannot be the same thing with Lekki in in Lagos. When you have faulty foundation, you will have building collapse. Here we use foundation for bungalow for storey building,” he said.
Okolo also said the use of unsuitable materials such as inferior and substandard cement, rods as well as using of materials that do not measure up to the size caused building collapse, wondering what town planners were doing that they allowed such buildings to spring up without detecting them.
He said before now, before any foundation was done, the town planners came for inspection but get-rich quick syndrome which is the consequence of total decadence in our society today does not allow that again.
People in Government are not doing what they ought to do because of this get-rich quick syndrome. Government has a responsibility to ensure that the right thing is done. Town planning is a government department, it must be staffed with competence and honest people. Anything less of this, can’t work,” he said.
Okolo lamented that these days, people hardly pay for the services of qualified professionals in the building industry, especially project managers and that was part of the malaise in the country.
He also attributed the constant boundary dispute as part of societal decay, saying that with such body as Boundary Commission and Surveyor–Generals both at the Federal and State level, there was no need for boundary disputes in the country at any level.
Okoro said the whole thing boils down to lack of honest people, lamenting that this led to Nigeria ceding Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroun because the Federal Government and its agents connived to do that because of political reason.
Bakassi ought not to have been ceded to Cameroun. But we didn’t wake up on time, maybe due to political consideration. And it is forever. If these agencies and individuals in Government had risen to the occasion, we would not have lost the Peninsula. Now they are killing our people over nothing,” Okolo said.