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BUILDING COLLAPSE : A CHALLENGE FOR THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AND CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES IN NIGERIA

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BUILDING COLLAPSE : A CHALLENGE FOR THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AND CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES IN NIGERIA

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

Incidences of the fall of buildings in Nigeria are posing major concerns and challenge to all the players in the construction industry- building consultants, governments, developers, landlords and users. Examples of such incident include collapse of Multi-Storey Building at Mokola, Ibadan,Oyo State (1974), building under construction at Benjamin Opara Street, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, (2006) and many more. (Olagunji, 2013). On the Night of November, 2012, an uncompleted 3 story structure fell in a water logged suburb of Owerri amid a heavy rain. Fake cement was utilized, overseen by a chemist! On May, 15th, a 4 story building under construction collapsed at Agbama Estate in Umuahia killing unknown number of squatters under the floors. Investigation indicated that construction standards limit a maximum of 2 stories in the region. On 5th September, 2013, a 4 story structure under construction, fell at 24 Obanye Street in Onitsha, after a rainfall. Causes of building collapse are attributable to various causes. Firstly, structures fall owing to human faults such as defective design, faulty construction, and use of inferior building materials, carelessness, omissions, ignorance, quackery, corruption and sabotage. The second component is natural occurrence such as flood, earthquakes, strong wind e.t.c. However Individual perspectives range dramatically from one another on the professional to blame for building collapse. By grace, Nigeria is not yet famed as a nation plagued by natural catastrophes like other countries yet, the country is not without her own share of disasters, which are largely man-made (Falobi, 2009). 

The world is nonetheless getting unsafe as a result of the geometrical order of population increase, urban expansion in coastal regions, inadequate planning and housing projects in high risk zones of the city. In recent years, the frequency of building collapse in the country’s main cities of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt have been frightening. Lagos, the key commercial nerve center of the nation, has documented four occurrences in 2006 with two of such collapses in Ebute Metta that lost 37 lives including residential structures. Adegoroye (2006) says that on Saturday March 25, the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank’s building collapsed killing two individuals and injured 23 others. All the above occurrence of building collapse have led to a tremendous challenge on the part of the real estate industries and construction businesses as they have been working on strategies to prevent or avoid the collapse of building while working hand in hand with the Lagos state government.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Buildings, like other structures, are built to hold and resist specified loads without any distortion. The loads are the weights of persons and items, the severity of rain and the varying wind pressure. With structures of a few storey s, strength often follows adequate stiffness, and the design is largely that of a roof that keeps the rain out while spanning broad open expanses. With towering structures of several storeys, foundation, which supports the building itself, is of crucial importance since tall buildings are prone to catastrophic collapse. Akosile (2010) highlighted that building “collapse happens when the structural structure of a building breaks apart when the stresses on it are over its carrying capacity”. in meeting with the challenge posed by building collapse government has put in place specific rules and regulations required to maintain a sense of safety of buildings to prevent disastrous occurrences in addition to generally ensure that players and referees in the building construction industry abide by certain accepted standards of moral conduct and good behaviour. For accountability reasons particularly as it pertains to the compliance of Town Planning laws and regulations, people administering the rules must be held responsible and accountable for their activities. However the challenges that both government and real estates industry are posed with is accountability as it is generally weak in Nigeria because of the lack of the political will to enforce same and this view was supported by Dare (2009) when he stated in his article on the challenges of journalism that watchdog organizations that provide information on the built environment such as the press, and other civil society organizations, are sometimes suppressed. Furthermore the issues given by the collapse of a building on real estate sector and development is fund. As without appropriate finances the contractors will be obliged to utilize cheap and sub grade products.

1.3 Objective of the study

The primary objective of the study is as follows

1)        To evaluate the role of a real estate company in the construction of a building.

2)        To evaluate the challenges faced by construction companies in the construction of a standard building.

3)        To examine the strategies that can be employed by the real estate companies to avoid or limit building collapse in Nigeria.

4)        To investigate the policies government have made in ensuring buildings are of utmost standard.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for this study

1.        What is the role of a real estate company in the construction of a building?

2.        What are the challenges faced by construction companies in the construction of a standard building?

3.        What are the strategies that can be employed by the real estate companies to avoid or limit building collapse in Nigeria?

4.        What are the policies government have made in ensuring buildings are of utmost standard?

1.5 Significance of the study

This study examines  building collapse : a challenge for the real estate industry and construction companies in Nigeria.

This study will be of benefit to the real estate industry as it will expose the need for the utmost supervision of their contractors in other to avoid the fall of a building, and also to contractors as they will see reasons why they should give appropriate budget for a building.

The study will be of benefit to the Lagos state government as it will make the law makers formulate a policy to guide the construction of buildings.

This study will be of benefit to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature and serve as a guide to students who might want to further in research on this particular topic.

1.6 Scope of the study

This study focuses on  Building collapse : a challenge for the real estate industry and construction companies in Nigeria. The study will also evaluate the role of a real estate company in the construction of a building. More so, the study will evaluate the challenges faced by construction companies in the construction of a standard building. The study will further examine the strategies that can be employed by the real estate companies to avoid or limit building collapse in Nigeria. Lastly, the study will investigate the policies government have made in ensuring buildings are of utmost standard. Hence this study will be delimited to propertylink real estate investment and Craneburg construction company Lagos state.

1.7 Limitation of the study

This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:

Just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data

Financial constraint , was faced by  the researcher ,in getting relevant materials  and  in printing and collation of questionnaires

Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher

1.8 Definition of terms

Real estate industry:  a class of "real property" that includes land and anything permanently attached to it, whether natural or man-made

Construction company: a business enterprise concerned with the construction of buildings, bridges, etc.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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