Revamp Naira to avoid building collapse, experts tell FG

“Inflation is a major challenge for the construction industry in Nigeria. It increases costs, encourages risky practices, and threatens the safety of buildings and workers.’’

Revamp, naira, avoid building collapse, depreciation, experts tell fgThe Lagos Chapter of the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) has urged the Federal Government to address the depreciating naira, saying it is acting like an “accelerant’’ in building collapse.

The National President, BCPG, Mr Sulaimon Yusuf, gave the advice at a news briefing on Thursday in Lagos, after an awareness walk against building collapse.

BRANDPOWER reports that the event had the theme, “Prevention is Better Than Cure’’.

It came on a day a building came down in Lagos, luckily without loss of life.

Yusuf said that the value of the Naira had fallen significantly and had made building materials more expensive.

This, Yusuf said, had led builders to resolve to use cheaper, substandard materials and hire unqualified professionals to save money.

“Today, I would bring to our attention what can be called an ‘accelerant’ in the causation of building collapses in the state.

“This accelerant is the depreciation of the value of the national currency, the naira.

“As at the preparation of this brief address, the naira had fallen to approximately N1, 500 against the dollar, over 100 per cent depreciation in just about six months.

“This means that the cost of building materials will rise astronomically,’’ he said.

Yusuf said that though the negative effects of the depreciating naira on building safety might not be immediately visible, they could have serious consequences in the future.

He, therefore, urged the Ministry of Physical Planning and the Office of Urban Development to increase enforcement of building standards while calling on the federal government to address the depreciating Naira by quickly restoring its value.

The BCPG boss urged the government to double their efforts in ensuring that building standards are kept by all builders, and begin to fund research on local building materials.

He advised the government to train more artisans and professionals in the construction industry.

Yusuf suggested that each Local Government Area should have at least a training school to train to become skilled in different areas of the built industry.

He advocated special scholarships for students in construction-related fields.

He advised the government to focus on proper taxation instead of relying on regulatory fees.

Yusuf called on the Standard Organisation of Nigeria to be stricter in its quality control measures for building materials.

Dr Isaac Akiije, Acting Head of Department, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Lagos, urged the government and relevant stakeholders in the built environment to educate those building houses about the importance of using qualified professionals like surveyors, architects, and town planners, following their guidance to avoid collapses.

Mr Paul Atewolara, who spoke on behalf of the body of artisans in the built environment, emphasised the importance of using COREN-registered professionals to manage construction projects in Nigeria.

He said that for safe and reliable construction in Nigeria, it was essential to choose professionals registered with COREN.

“These professionals have the necessary expertise, qualifications, and adherence to regulations, minimising the risk of issues and ensuring the project’s success.’’

The National General Secretary, BCPG, Mrs Adenike Ayanda, urged the government to take action to control inflation and stabilize the naira, as it had made it harder for builders to stay within budget and maintain quality standards.

She said, “Inflation is a major challenge for the construction industry in Nigeria. It increases costs, encourages risky practices, and threatens the safety of buildings and workers.’’