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Building Collapse: SON urges developers to test materials before use



The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has urged developers to ensure that quality assessment test was carried out on building materials before using them for construction work to eliminate building collapse.

Mr Osita Aboloma, SON Director General, gave the warning at Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN), 2019 Building Expo in Abuja.

He said that quality of products needed to be reconfirmed due to reproduction before they were passed for use.

Aboloma, represented by Mr Paul Oke, a director in SON, said there are set standards before products could be used.

According to him, due to porous nature of Nigeria’s borders, smugglers tend to bring in adulterated materials at the night.

“If you have not carried out a test on any product and you are using it for construction work you are bound to kill people and at the end of the day the question is who is in charge?

“For every material, especially iron rod there is a code on it from manufacturer, if the material fails any test requirement it will be seized and the only way to trace the manufacturer is through that code.

“If you don’t see any of these particular proof it means the product is a suspect and don’t buy or use it. If you pass the message to SON, we will seize the product and stop it from circulation.

The DG said that the integrity of the development of real estate depended on some key factors, which included the use of professionals to conduct preliminary studies and specifications for the proposed building.

In addition, he said it also depended on the use of building materials of right quality and the engagement of professionals to carry out the construction of the building using standard methodologies.

“For the purpose of illustration, a building resulting from the use of high quality building materials but constructed by quacks may not be fit for purpose.

“Likewise a building resulting from the use of sub-standard building materials even if constructed by highly qualified professionals may also not be fit for purpose. The building will crumble.

“Building collapse is rampant and can be reduced completely in the country if all these were put in check.

In his presentation entitled: “Standardisation and Regulation of Building Materials as the Fulcrum of Integrity Based Real Estate Development in Nigeria” he said the integrity of development of real estate revolved around use of standardised materials and professionals.

He said that over the years, SON had done a lot to standardise building materials in Nigeria as well as many other products through the development of Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS), which specified the minimum acceptable requirements for each product.

According to the DG, SON has put in place Conformity Assessment Programmes to ensure both locally manufactured products and imported ones meet the requirements of relevant standards.

He further said that it also carried out market survey to find out status of products in the market and conduct enforcement exercises to remove substandard products in circulation.

“SON has overseen the development of several NIS in different sectors of the economy of Nigeria over the years and the construction and building industry is not left out.

“Some of the existing NIS for building materials includes: standard for cement, sand-crete blocks, steel reinforcement bars, corrugated roofing sheets and burnt clay building units among others.

The conformity of building materials in Nigeria market to relevant standards is achieved through a twin conformity assessment programmes namely: the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) and SON Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP).

MANCAP was put in place to ensure that all locally manufactured products including building materials, meet the requirements of relevant NIS.

SONCAP on the other hand was put in place to ensure that all imported products into Nigeria meets the requirements of the relevant NIS or approved equivalents.

He, however, said that enforcement exercises were carried out based on intelligence to remove substandard products that could get to the market.



UK new car sales collapse in May as lockdown continues to impact market




New car registration in Britain plunged by 89 percent in May compared with the same month a year earlier, as the coronavirus lockdown restrictions continued to impact the market, according to a report released Thursday.

Some 20,247 cars were registered in May, even though “click and collect” services were introduced from mid-month in a bid to inject some momentum into the market, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in the report.

Data showed that apart from battery electric vehicles, all segments and fuel types saw severe declines, with the sales of diesel and petrol vehicles in the month plummeting by 93 percent and 90.5 percent respectively over the same month last year.

The figures came as car showrooms in England have been allowed to re-open since the beginning of June following more than two months of shutdown. Car showrooms remain closed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland until next week.

“After a second month of shutdown and the inevitable yet devastating impact on the market, this week’s re-opening of dealerships is a pivotal moment for the entire industry and the thousands of people whose jobs depend on it,” said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT.

“Customers keen to trade up into the latest, cutting-edge new cars are now able to return to showrooms and early reports suggest there is good business given the circumstances, although it is far too early to tell how demand will pan out over the coming weeks and months,” said Hawes.

Hawes added that restarting the market is a crucial “first step” in driving the recovery of the country’s critical car manufacturers and supply chain, and supporting the wider economy.

“Ensuring people have the confidence to invest in the latest vehicles will not only help them get on the move safely, but these new models will also help address some of the environmental challenges the UK faces in the long term,” he said.


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Man collapses at ATM gallery in Asaba, revived by customers



Bank customers on Wednesday revived an elderly man, who collapsed while on a queue to withdraw cash at an ATM point in Asaba.
of the bank customers, who had initially scampered for safety due the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic, returned to assist the man and succeeded in reviving him.
The man, who declined to disclose his names, told sympathizers that he was ill and had just returned from the hospital.
“I am not feeling too well. I am coming from the hospital and decided to stop over and use the ATM machine.
“I am a diabetic patient. I live in Ibusa with my family. I came to Asaba for treatment,” he said
NAN reports that the man was later assisted by some sympatizers to contact his wife on phone since he could hardly walk.

Edited By: Joe Idika/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Gov. Uzodimma inaugurates investigative panel on collapsed 8 story building in Owerri 



Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo on Tuesday, inaugurated a panel of inquiry into the recent collapsed eight story building in the  state to determine major cause of the incident.

Uzodinma inaugurated the panel at the executive chamber, Government House on Tuesday in  Owerri.

He said during the ceremony that the panel should among other things, determine if the contractors of the building followed due process before the collapse.

Uzodimma also urged the panel to recommend appropriate sanction against owners of building that fell short of standard.

He also urged it to recommend possible ways of avoiding future incidence of building collapse in the state.

The Chairman of the panel, Mr Jude Obidiegwu thanked the governor for finding them worthy of the assignment and  promised that the committee will not disappoint the government on the assignment.

An eight story building under construction located at Yaradua Drive in Owerri collapsed in May.

The incident claimed four lives, while several others sustained various degrees of injuries.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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LASG seeks professional bodies’ collaboration to stop building collapse




and Florence Onuegbu

Lagos, May 29, the 2020 The Lagos State Government has appealed to professional bodies in the building industry to help the state stem the tide of building collapse in built-up environments.

Dr Idris Salako, state’s Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, made the appeal while fielding questions from journalists during the annual ministerial press briefing to mark Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s first-year administration.

Salako said the professionals could achieve this by holding its members liable for construction failures.

He noted that the state has strong regulatory agencies and committees on collapse buildings but needed the support of professional associations who could apply sanctions to serve as a deterrent.

He said that the ministry monitored developments and even went to the extent of prosecuting some builders over sharp practices.

The commissioner added that participation of professional associations was important for success against the menace.

“It is difficult for the ministry to look into the professional qualifications and competence of the people engaged for some of the collapsed structures.

“Government may not be able to have that power to deal with them professionally but the Building Control Appeals Committee can help deal with them by relating with the professional bodies involved to look at the competencies of those who are doing it.

“We can only appeal to professional bodies that when we refer these matters to them, they can help us deal with their members professionally.

“That will also help to reduce incidences of building collapse,’’ Salako said.

The commissioner said that an existing law, which made owners of collapsed buildings forfeit the property to the state government, was one of the measures adopted to stem the tide of building collapse.

On new settlements, Salako said that 11 model city master plans have been prepared.

He added that two others, located in Kosofe and Lagos Island model city plans, were in the process of being awarded.

He listed locations of village plans to open up new settlements alongside several reforms in some local governments in the state to ensure ease of doing business, using technology.

“The importance of planning in the built environment cannot be overemphasised as planning is the pathway to improved standard of living, economic prosperity, orderly, liveable and suitable environment.’’

The commissioner said that the ministry would continue to sustain its zero-tolerance policy against illegal constructions.

He urged residents to seek approval from relevant agencies of the state government before building.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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3-storey building collapses in Lagos, says LASEMA



Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, the Director-General,  Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA),  on Monday confirmed the partial collapse of a three-storey building situated at No.6 Olonode Str., Ebute Metta in Lagos.

Oke-Osanyintolu told News Agency of Nigeria that after evacuating all the residents, preliminary report on the collapsed building showed that it had been “severely distressed with the reinforcement’’.

He said that the building having corroded had visible cracks on the walls and pillars due to lack of maintenance.

Oke-Osanyintolu further revealed that all the slabs of the building were weak, making part of it to collapse at about 9 a.m. on Monday.

He said that there was neither loss of life nor injury.

Oke-Osanyintolu said that LASEMA experts and LAGOS State Building Control Agency (LASBCA),  officials were at the scene of the incident.

According to him, all the occupants have been evacuated from the premises, while the entire building has been cordoned off to prevent any secondary incident.

Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho//Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Yemen’s health system ‘has in effect collapsed’ as COVID spreads, UN says



Yemen’s health system has in effect collapsed, the United Nations said on Friday, appealing for urgent funding.

Referring to aid agencies, Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told a Geneva briefing: “We hear from many of them that Yemen is really on the brink right now.

“The situation is extremely alarming, they are talking about that the health system has in effect collapsed.

“They are talking about having to turn people away because they do not have enough medical oxygen, they do not have enough personal protective equipment,” he said.

Yemen authorities have reported 184 cases including 30 deaths to the World Health Organisation, its latest figures show.

“The actual incidence is almost certainly much higher.

“The United Nations estimates that it will seek 2 billion dollars for Yemen to maintain aid programmes through year-end,” Laerke added.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Sao Paulo’s overburdened health system in danger of collapse, warns mayor




The healthcare system of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, is in danger of collapsing from the weight of mounting COVID-19 cases, its mayor warned on Sunday.

Hospital intensive care units have been overrun with patients, Bruno Covas told a press conference.

“We are nearing the most difficult time. Our intensive care beds are at 90 percent capacity,” and the regular hospital beds are at 76 percent capacity, said Covas.

With the healthcare infrastructure already stretched to the limit, the infection rate continued to run high and new cases continue to rise, he said.

As of Sunday, Sao Paulo state, home to 20 million residents, has reported 62,345 cases and 4,782 deaths from COVID-19. Brazil’s total caseload is 241,080, with 16,118 deaths.

The mayor suspended one of the region’s lockdown measures — banning cars from circulating one day a week — because data showed drivers who couldn’t circulate took public transportation, leading to overcrowding in mass transit.


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10 buildings collapse at erosion site in Onitsha North LGA



No fewer than 10 buildings including a school and church have collapsed at Obeleagu St. and Nkissi Aroli axis of Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra following erosion caused by downpour.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Obeleagu community in Onitsha metropolis has been threatened by gully erosion which has turned into an unending nightmare for the people of the area.

NAN recalls that the Minister of State for Environment, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor accompanied by the Deputy Governor of the state, Dr Nkem Okeke had in October 2019, inspected the erosion site and promised that work would be carried out on the site.

However, member representing Onitsha North 2 State Constituency, Mr Edward Ibuzo described the situation as “an emergency that needs urgent attention”.

Ibuzo, who is also the Chairman, House Committee on Environment, expressed sadness that the erosion had continued to worsen each time it rained.

“The issues have been discussed at the plenary of the state House of Assembly and we have informed the state governor, even the Federal Government had some time ago sent a delegation to inspect the damage.

“Things like this should be taken seriously because it involves lives and property which is the responsibility of government,” the lawmaker said.

While promising to draw the attention of NEWMAP to the erosion site, Ibuzo advised residents of the area to relocate pending when palliative work would be carried on the site.

A resident of the area, Mr Godwin Aniakor expressed sadness that several property had been destroyed due to the erosion.

Aniakor, who said the erosion had rendered many citizens homeless, noted that it started eight years ago.

He described the level of menace as “devastating and worrisome” and urged both the federal and state government to come to their rescue.

Another resident, Mr Christian Onwudinjo, who was seen dismantling the structure of his building said they were living in danger therefore had to make plans for relocation.

Onwudinjo also appealed to the government to intervene in the situation as the erosion might worsen and lead to unavoidable deaths as well as further loss of property.

Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Grace Yussuf (NAN)


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13 workers die in building collapse in Uganda



Uganda authority said a rescue operation was called off on Monday after 13 bodies were recovered from a building that collapsed over the weekend in the nation’s capital of Kampala.

“We do not expect any other survivors…” Maureen Nabuduwa from the Red Cross said, adding that four people were rescued from the rubble.

Police spokesperson Luke Oweyisigire said “we think that the structure had over 20 workers who were working and sleeping there.”

Oweyisigire said that an investigation had been launched to find out why the three-storey building collapsed in the city’s southern suburb of Makindye.

Local newspaper the Daily Monitor reported that authorities had halted work on the building in March because of defects and inadequate plans.

The workers had been staying on site because of lockdown restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the paper said.


Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)

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