BUILDING COLLAPSES SYNDROME AND LAGOS STATE URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING
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Building collapses in Nigeria have been on the increase in recent times. There are frequent in media reports of collapsed of buildings in major Nigerian cities like Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, etc. The following are the objectives of the study; To ascertain the causes of building collapse in Lagos state, To examine the effect of building collapse to Lagos state residents, To ascertain the relationship between building collapse and Lagos state urban and regional planning, To examine the possible solution to the causes of collapse building in Lagos. The population of the study was 200 construction company staff was selected randomly. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up managers, supervisors, senior staff; junior staff was used for the study.
1.1 Background of the study
Building is one of the basic needs of mankind. Apart from giving protection from elements of nature and providing storehouse for personal possessions; shelter in accordance with contemporary modern standards, must offer such infrastructure and services that would make dwellings conducive. The need for a decent and safe home cannot be overemphasized, right from the Stone Age when man dwelt in caves to the present age of sophisticated buildings and superstructures, man has always been caught up in the struggle to provide for him a safe and comfortable dwelling place. The built environment, in any country, determines the nature and pace of national development and the citizens‟ quality of life. It has a major influence on the progress towards the attainment of the Millennium Developmental Goals (MDGs), which were aimed at reducing poverty worldwide. The surge in urbanization has increased the need for more houses and this has influenced the massive growth in housing stock over the years. Of lately, the incidents of collapse buildings in urban area where most of these structures are located has continued to give the government, members of the public and professionals in the construction industry a cause for concern. The incidence of building collapse in Nigeria is reaching an epidemic proportion. Some estimates show that in the last 12 years, probably no less than 30 buildings have collapsed around Lagos alone, in fact from the research conducted by Ayedun and others 13 building collapsed in Lagos in 2006. Other major cities are not spared Abuja, Port Harcourt and Ibadan. And each time, there is a tremendous loss of human lives and properties and severe injuries to people. In response to the problem, various stakeholders “workshops, seminars and proposals have been put forward to arrest the scourge. In Lagos State the government in 2010 promulgated a new legislation on Urban and Regional Planning and devoted a part of the law to measures to address the problem. This paper examines the provisions of the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development law and the problems of building collapse in testate and argues that though the efforts of the government in making the law is laudable, there are still room for regulatory improvement in order to nip the menace of building collapse syndrome in the bud.
In recent past, collapse of buildings/structure failure has been on the increase in most Nigerian cities, especially within the urban centers along Nigerian coastline. The situation does not seem to be abating either because the true causes are not yet identified or because those in charge have not taken the appropriate actions to put the situation under control. A structure is assumed to have failed when it can no longer serve the purpose for which it was built. Failures may occur during construction or later in the course of the design life of the structure. Irrespective of the type of failure or the period in the lifetime of the structure that the failure occurs, the effects are always devastating. There is consensus among commentators and professionals that the reasons for building collapse are as diverse as there are many professional engaged in the construction of a structure. Identifying the causes, Yusuf listed the problems to include non-compliance with design specifications, failure of foundation or the superstructure due to inadequate soil information or faulty design, use of inferior and fake materials, non utilization of professionals in the building process and noun availability of planning approvals and development controls. Another major cause of building collapse as identified by a commentator is the practice of fast tracking developments whereby the commercial developer and building contractors completes construction in shorter period than normal, which practice is conducive to lowering standards and can lead to defective structures and building failures. Case studies by Ogunsemiand Folagbade show that poor structural design, use of substandard building materials, non-compliance with approved building design, poor workmanship, and lack of qualified and appropriate professionals to ensure quality construction, and cost control among others are major causes of building failures in the contemporary Nigeria. Apart from the generally known causes of collapse such as design flaws, ageing, material fatigue, extreme operational and environmental conditions, accidents, terrorist attacks and natural hazards, the Nigerian factor becomes a prominent issue to contend with. The Nigerian factor in the building industry rears up its ugly head in different forms such as corruption, lawlessness and our presumptions that any engineer or professional in the built environment can assume all forms responsibility in building process without the basic skill required for it. Folagbade did a comprehensive analysis of the causes and effects of building failure in Nigeria and listed the causes to include, the absence of soil test report; structural designs and details handled by quacks; absence of co-ordination between the professional bodies and the local town planning authority; lack of adherence to specifications by the unqualified and unskilled personnel; poor and bad construction practices. Others are, the use of substandard building materials; lack of proper supervision by professionals; inadequate enforcement of the existing enabling building regulations; illegal conversion of buildings which often lead to structural deficiencies; flagrant disobedience of town planning regulations by developers/landlords; the compromising attitude of some workers of the town planning authority and lack of sanctions against erring professionals and landlords. In response to the scourge and in anticipation of remedying the malaise, the government of Lagos State promulgated the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development law 2010. It is therefore pertinent to turn our searchlight on the provisions of this law and how it seeks to address the problem.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The frequent loss of life and property led to the tribunal of inquiry on collapsed building, constituted May 20, 2013. Before the end of 2013, the tribunal had submitted their findings. The tribunal found the provisions of the law (Urban and Regional Planning Law 2010, the National Building Code and the Lagos State Building Regulation) regulating the building industry to be adequate, but were rendered ineffective by non-adherence and crass indiscipline among others. They also found that prosecution was rare. Mrs Abimbola Ajayi, tribunal chairperson, explained at the launch of the report that ‘there is no record of persons prosecuted or sanctioned for incidence of building collapse by the Ministry of Justice, the Nigeria Police and other law organ because of political, cultural, administrative and other interventions. It is in this view the researcher want to examine building collapses syndrome in Lagos State.
1.3 Objective of the study
The main objective of this study is to ascertain the causes of building collapses syndrome and Lagos state urban and regional planning. But for the successful completion of the study; the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objectives;
- To ascertain the causes of building collapse in Lagos state
- To examine the effect of building collapse to Lagos state residents
- To ascertain the relationship between building collapse and Lagos state urban and regional planning
- To examine the possible solution to the causes of collapse building in Lagos
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: building collapse has an effect on residents in Lagos state
H1: building collapse has no effect on residents in Lagos state
H02: there is no significant relationship between building collapse and Lagos state urban and regional planning
H2: there is a significant relationship between building collapse and Lagos state urban and regional planning
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of benefit to the residents of Lagos state and government of Lagos state. The study will help find causes and possible solution to collapsing of building in Lagos state. The study will also be of great benefit to the researchers who intends to embark on research on similar topics as it will serve as a guide. Finally, the study will be of great importance to academia’s, lecturers, teachers, students and the general public.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers building collapses syndrome and lagos state urban and regional planning. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
- a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
- b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
- c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
BUILDING: A building or edifice is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory.
COLLAPSE: Collapse is a sudden and often unannounced loss of postural tone (going weak), often but not necessarily accompanied by loss of consciousness.
SYNDROME: A group of symptoms which consistently occur together, or a condition characterized by a set of associated symptoms.
URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING: Urban planning is also referred to as urban and regional planning, regional planning, town planning, city planning, rural planning or some combination in various areas worldwide. It takes many forms and it can share perspectives and practices with urban design.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
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