Some engineers have described the building collapse in Lagos State on Monday as “unfortunate and a pathetic national loss’’.
Reuters quoted the National Emergency Management Agency Coordinator for Lagos State, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye via text message on Wednesday as saying that the death toll had climbed to 22 after several bodies were recovered overnight. Nine people were pulled out alive.
The engineers gave the reaction, while speaking in Abuja.
The building located at Gerrard Road, was said to have been approved by the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LSBCA) to build 15 storeys, instead the developers built it up to 21-storeys.
Mr Sharafadeen Olumoh, a National Officer of the Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineers (NICE) said the building collapse was an unfortunate occurrence, which was as a result of greed on the part of the developers.
Olumoh, who is also a member of Engineering Regulations Monitoring Committee in Kwara, reported that the institute heard that the professional that was in charge of the construction resigned from the work when the developer would not listen to his professional advice.
“The government regulatory body, especially the Lagos Building Control Agency came out to say the building was approved for 15 floors but the builder kept on moving up to 21 floors.
“ The structural engineer earlier resigned since February last year based on the fact that the developer was not listening to his instructions.
“He went to get other inexperienced engineers and kept on moving on with the project.
“People lost their lives, a lot sustained injury at the same time, and a very huge economic loss as a result of greed.’’
Speaking on what the engineering body could do to prevent such calamity from happening again, Olumoh said the professional bodies had their limitations.
“As a professional body our own limitations are there, we can only regulate the rules and operations. The government has the political power to apprehend some of these culprits involved in these types of crimes.
“ It’s unfortunate that Nigeria is recording this huge loss despite the economic depression that we are in. I hope the government will wake up,’’ Olumoh said.