By Victor Okoye
The National Industrial Safety Council of Nigeria (NISCN) have commended Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu on his recent directive to conduct integrity tests on structures in markets and malls across the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov Ikpeazu’s directive was disclosed by the State’s Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, while speaking to Chairmen of market committees in the state in his office on Wednesday.
He disclosed that the action was being taken in the interest of the public to protect traders and their customers from the risk of building collapse.
A statement by NISCN National President, Dr Festus Daniel and made available to NAN on Saturday in Abuja said the move by the governor was a welcome development, adding that NISCN was willing to partner with the state government on the project.
Daniel decried the spate of illegal construction works in not only the state but across the country and pledged to offer technical support towards the project in the state.
“The spate of illegal construction works in the country is indeed very alarming and we at NISCN are pleased with Gov. Ikpeazu’s directives to swiftly demolish any structure that fails the integrity test in the state.
“As a major player and stakeholder in the industry we will continue to voice our concerns and call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to as a matter of urgency back the National Building Code (NBC).
“While commending Gov. Ikpeazu for putting together a team of experts to engage in the review of the integrity test project, we wish to extend our hand of fellowship to ensure that recommendations include safety controls and compliance monitoring.
“These will ensure that mandatory visits are made to construction sites to stop dangerous practices before they lead to disasters.
“NISCN in collaboration with the Abia State Safety commission has huge experience that the government can rely upon.
“We also call on the relevant Authorities to pass the Nigeria Building Code (NBC) into law for full implementation. The new building code will check against manipulations that are common in the building industry,” he said.