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Surveyors advocate creation of ministry for testing buildings in Lagos

“We are recommending that bridges and tall buildings should be monitored periodically,” he said.

• October 26, 2023
collapsed Building
collapsed Building used to illustrate the story

The Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS) has called for the creation of a ministry for testing buildings in Lagos State and the annual updating of maps to curb building collapses and flooding in the state.

NIS Lagos branch made the call during its 2023 Mandatory Continuing Professional Development (MCPD) workshop with the theme: “Comparative Analysis of Building Information Model For Structural Health Monitoring,” on Thursday in Lagos.

The society also advised Nigerians to engage professional surveyors for documentation towards getting a genuine Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) to prevent loss of investments through collapse, flooding or forfeiture.

Chairman, NIS, Lagos Branch, Olukolade Kasim, said the workshop was organised to train and retrain members for best standards to curb the menace of building collapse and flooding.

According to Mr Kasim, the NIS usually collaborates with all the other six built environment experts including architects, engineers, builders, and town planners, amongst others towards the construction of solid structures.

He called for regular monitoring of infrastructure towards determining their structural health and stability using modern tools like scanners to prevent faults that may develop underneath the earth’s crust.

He said regular monitoring of bridges and tall buildings was important, urging the Lagos State government to create a ministry attached to the Surveyor General’s office for the purpose of monitoring and testing buildings.

He explained that highrise buildings constructed with the best globally accepted procedures and standards could become sick as a result of movement underneath the earth, hence the need for periodic tests.

He cited the example of a bridge at Bonny Camp area in Lagos which was noticed to have one of its pillars shifting before the government fixed the problem to avert collapse.

“We are recommending that bridges and tall buildings should be monitored periodically,” he said.

Adedeji Sebiotimo, chairman of the 2023 workshop planning committee, called for an annual updating of the Lagos map for proper planning to capture new settlements.

Mr Sebiotimo, a fellow of NIS and vice chairman of the Lagos State branch, said updated mapping would reveal accurate topography of land either high or low as a determinant of what and where to build without the risks of flooding or collapse.

“And from the mapping results we will be able to know areas that have the infrastructure or those lacking infrastructure in terms of roads or developments, a lot of things can be seen from the map,” he said.

He said in 2022, 320 surveyors registered for the workshop, but that 495 registered for the 2023 programme, aimed at exposing surveyors to current trends to reshape their knowledge and skills.

The guest speaker, Dr Joseph Odumosu, explained common errors made by civil engineers and other built environment professionals in trying to hijack the roles of surveyors.

He advised surveyors not to certify projects that they did not supervise to avoid being liable for unethical practices and failure of the structures.

Mr Odumosu, a lecturer at Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, said scanners should be used for proper imagery of highrise as well as to determine the health of the buildings using new technologies.

The second guest speaker, Awofeko Abiodun, said all states in Nigeria had GIS departments, which aim to strengthen Land Information System and Land Administration Systems, but he said publicity was needed for the public to harness opportunities.

The event had the sub-theme: “Application of BIM in Strata Survey: Methodology and Presentation.”


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