The World Bank’s report on housing regulatory framework standards in sub-Saharan Africa reveals that the frequent building collapses in Lagos State are attributed to gaps and loopholes in the permitting process, coupled with the involvement of unqualified professionals in the design and construction of buildings.
The absence of a legally adopted building design code in Lagos State is identified as a major factor contributing to poor quality design and construction, leading to increased vulnerability and reduced building design life.
Limited available land for development and a lack of risk-informed site selection force some builders, particularly the poor, to choose risky construction sites, exacerbating the risks of building collapses.
The lack of systems to ensure the quality of construction materials, including non-compliance with Nigerian national standards and limited material testing facilities in Lagos, further compromise the structural integrity of buildings in the state.
The findings of the World Bank report shed light on the urgent need for comprehensive reforms in the construction industry in Lagos State. Building collapses have devastating consequences, resulting in loss of lives and properties. The identified root causes, such as the absence of a building design code, lack of quality control, and insufficient regulatory oversight, must be promptly addressed through collaborative efforts between the government, private sector, and local communities.
To ensure safer building practices, there must be a concerted effort to strengthen the permitting process, enforce compliance with building codes and regulations, and improve the quality control of construction materials. Additionally, investments in building control authorities, including the provision of adequate resources and training, will bolster effective site monitoring and inspection.
Moreover, raising awareness among communities about the risks associated with low-quality construction and design is crucial for preventing building collapses. Collaborative efforts between stakeholders can empower citizens to demand safer living conditions and encourage builders to prioritize construction quality and safety.
By taking proactive steps and implementing the recommendations of the World Bank report, Lagos State can enhance its construction practices and safeguard the lives and well-being of its residents. Building collapses should not be considered inevitable occurrences but rather as challenges that can be overcome through collective action and commitment to ensuring safety and quality in the construction industry.