By Gabriel Olawale & Christopher Njoku
In its bid to tackle recurrent incidents of building collapse in the country, American Society of Safety Engineers, ASSE Nigeria chapter in partnership with Brickwall Group of Companies has tasked Nigerians on the need to be safety conscious and seek professional service in their construction projects in order to avert any accidental occurrence that can lead to loss of lives and property.
Speaking ahead of this year’s ASSE Safety Summit slated for 23rd to 25th of March 2017, the Group Managing Director of Brickwall Group of Companies, Mr. Ahubelem Uche said until the issues of quarks are curtailed, Nigerians will continue to be victims of building collapse.
Uche noted that a lot of people find it difficult to abide to standards by hiring the services of professionals, pointing out that rather, they prefer to engage the services of touts who are ready to cut corners without putting into consideration the long term effects of their actions.
According to him, “Building collapse is now a trending issue in Nigeria and there is no week or month that you won’t hear of it. We have a lot of touts roaming the streets that parade themselves as builders. Some didn’t even go to school and before you know it they will build five storey building for someone and when neighbours or friends see it they start patronizing such quacks and in the the long run, the building will collapse. Just because they can lay blocks on each, people tend to see them as experts”.
“We believe in professionalism and we are trying to let people understand that safety is about your life and not about somebody cutting corners. If you cut corners today, there is danger awaiting you in the future. It’s not about having money to build house, but ensure that it is safe for its inhabitants”, Uche noted.
On his part, the President of ASSE Nigeria chapter, Mr. Herbert Nwaka who spoke during a courtesy visit to US embassy in Nigeria, said that the summit is aimed at enlightening the general public on the fact that no amount of money that is worth human life, adding that the general idea of safety is that “We need to go back home the same way we went to work.
“In Nigeria, safety is still work in progress. We need to cultivate the culture of safety as a nation. Presently, we are used to breaking rules and cutting corners. So, it is time we ask ourselves whether we are safety conscious and what role have we played to ensure safety? Safety is not only for oil and gas industry, but for all of us in Nigeria.
“The summit will have in attendance stakeholders from different sectors in Nigeria and we are going to have speakers from home and abroad that will enlighten the participants. There will be pre-event conference on 21st to 23rd of March for those interested in Global Safety Management Certificate Programme”, ASSE president stated.