‘Panel of inquiry not solution to building collapse’


The Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA) in Anambra State has faulted the inauguration of a panel of inquiry into cases of building collapse in Onitsha.

The body said setting up panels on building collapse without recourse to the white paper report published in 2014 would amount to an exercise in futility.

The chairman, Osita Okafor, who addressed reporters in Awka yesterday, urged Governor Willie Obiano to implement the report which he described as “detailed and comprehensive”.

According to him, the report stressed the need to establish a one-stop approval process, which, according to him, was endorsed for approval by all relevant professionals in the building industry.

He said: “We are taken aback by the inauguration of the panel without implementation of recommendations of the former panel set up by the same government on June 9, 2014.

“We, therefore, draw government’s attention to the implementation of the already published white paper report on building collapse published in October 13, 2014.

“As a state that prides itself as the light of the nation, Anambra should be able to show example of best world practices.”

Okafor described as unconventional and unacceptable, the exclusion of architects in the construction of several projects in the state, including the recent instituted panel of inquiry on building collapse.

He cited instances of the construction of the ongoing international conference centre in the state capital, as well as the preparation and signing of architects’ payment certificate by non-architects in the ministry of housing.

“These anomalies don’t happen anywhere in the world. What results do they expect after excluding architects, the prime consultants in building projects, from the panel dealing with matters as grievous as building collapse?” he queried.

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