Building collapse occurs when members or structural components of a building fail due to stresses imposed on them from external loads and from their respective self weight. The rate of structural collapse in Nigeria is becoming a very disturbing and embarrassing phenomenon especially in the case of buildings. Nigeria  is not in the list of countries regularly affected by tremors and seismic activities but the rate at which buildings are collapsing, is twice as much as those reported in war torn countries or those bedevilled by earthquake or hurricanes.

From my own point of view, 5  reasons why buildings are collapsing almost on daily bases in Nigeria are:

1. Over 60% of  Building Constructions  are supervised by unskilled workers impersonating as engineers.

Most times clients prefer to patronize cheap workers without minding if they posses the required skills for the job. Clients prefer using people they can manipulate and control, to execute their projects.

2. Most collapsed buildings are erected without proper design and preliminary tests to determine the nature of the soil on which the building is to be constructed.

3. Greed on the part of the client and the Engineer. The cost of hiring a qualified engineers by a client is less than 10% of the project cost, yet most clients finds it hard to sacrifice that sum to get their jobs done the right way.  On the part of the engineers or the project supervisors, they prefer to work alone without inviting their colleagues w to assist them in ensuring that projects are executed in line with designer’s specification.

4.  Failure of  the authorities  to prosecute or jail those who were found culpable including clients and the project engineer.

5. Use of substandard construction materials such as  blocks, reinforcement bar, timber, Roofing materials, sand etc.

Thanks for your time.


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