Given the way buildings under construction in various parts of the country collapse before completion, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has hinted it was putting finishing touches before forwarding a bill or an Act to the National Assembly with a view to enforcing laws against sub-standard products more stridently.
The Director-General of SON, Mr. Ikem Odumodu who stated this yesterday after inspecting the three collapsed buildings in Onitsha within the last fortnight, blamed the mishaps on the get rich quick syndrome that has gripped many Nigerians which make them import sub-standard materials for buildings.
He said neglecting the danger such situation posed, remained a direct invitation to death.
He inspected the sites of collapsed four storey building at the watchman Catholic charismatic Renewal in the Awada area of the commercial city; another four storey building at Saint Christopher’s Anglican Church in the Ogbommanu area as well as the five storey building located at Udi Street in the Fegge area of the same city.
The SON Director-General noted at the end of these inspections that though officers from his organisation had before his visit, come to collect samples of materials used in the building and tested them; their preliminary findings confirmed something was wrong.
For instance, he said they found that certain aggregates used in the construction, the reinforcement bar, cement, concrete were sub-standard, and that although nobody builds so that his building collapses, that people needed to know what materials to buy and where to buy and how they should be applied.
He explained that it was why as regulators, the SON had to do something very quickly, describing three buildings collapsing in Onitsha within two weeks as an epidemic.
At the Watchman catholic charismatic Renewal for instance, the administrator of the church, Rev. Modestus Obikarije told the visiting SON DG that the building which he said was being supervised by a lecturing Engineer at the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra state may have collapsed due to the weak soil texture, adding that the building plan was approved by the relevant authorities in the state and it was not carrying anything else except itself.