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Building collapse: Is the National Building Code a stillbirth?

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By Dada Jackson

Experts and stakeholders in the built environment are worried that the National Building Code bill has not seen the light of day several years after its draft was sent to the National Assembly for a legal backing.

Many experts including the National President of the Nigerian Institute of Building, Kunle Awobodu, are of the view that the building code would have curtailed the embarrassing spate of building collapse being recorded across the country.

The National Building Code (NBC) is a draft document formulated by the seven professional bodies in the built environment for the purpose of putting in place guidelines that will further strengthen the construction industry.

The draft document was sent to the National Assembly for over eight years but up till now, it is still a subject of debate.

There was a time it was learnt that it had passed the third reading and was already at the committee stage of the whole house.

As of the end of the life of the eighth Assembly, nothing was heard of the draft bill.

A former President of the NIOB, Mr Chucks Omeife, posited that it was not the function of the National Assembly to pass the draft bill of the National Building Code into law.

His words: “The responsibility of the National Assembly is not to pass the NBC into law but you provide an enabling law that would back the National Building Code. Up until the life of the 8th Assembly lapsed, nothing was heard about the state of the bill.”

Omeife lamented a situation where the National Assembly is foot-dragging on the issue of providing an enabling law to back the NBC.

Speaking in similar vein, a quantity surveyor, Mr. Wasiu Kareem, wondered why it was taking “eternity” for the National Assembly to do the needful.

According to him, the National Building Code is a well-thought out document which has the input of all the seven professional bodies in the construction industry.

He urged members of the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the enabling law in order for the bill to see the light of the day.

On his part, a development economist, Dr. Ifeayin Nwachukwu, opined that the draft bill of the NBC by now ought to have been in use by all relevant professionals and stakeholders in the built environment.

According to him, the coming into fruition of the code would no doubt serve as a guiding tool for everyone that has one thing or the other to go with the construction industry.

He said, “My appeal is to members of the National Assembly who belong to the built environment to spearhead the crusade in seeing that the discussion of the National Building Code is in the front burner.

He expressed the belief that the current Assembly would deem it fit to look in the direction of the bill.

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Kaduna LG poll: Electoral officers assaulted as ‘hoodlums’ snatch 41 e-voting machines

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No fewer than 11 electronic voting machines (EVMs) were vandalised by suspected hoodlums during the council polls in Giwa and Igabi LGAs of Kaduna state.

Saratu Audu-Dikko, chairman of Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KADSIECOM), said about 41 EVMs were snatched during the election on Saturday.

Audu-Dikko said electoral officers were assaulted by the hoodlums who carted away some election materials.

“Thirty EVMs were carted away at Kwarau in Igabi local government, with two destroyed, while nine others at Panhauya in Giwa local government, were equally vandalised,” she said.

“The hoodlums also carted away election materials and assaulted the driver and staff of the commission conveying the materials.”

The chairman said that some other staff of the commission, including ad-hoc staff, were also assaulted in those places.

Earlier, Nasir El-Rufai, the governor, expressed concern over the low turnout of voters during the election.

Speaking after casting his vote at the Ungwan Sarkin polling unit 001 in the Kaduna north LGA, el-Rufai attributed the low turnout to the late arrival of some of the election materials.

He, however, said there was a vast improvement in the election process compared to that of 2018.

According to El-Rufai, the electronic voting machine makes it impossible for voters to indulge in multiple voting.

He said the APC does not have to win everywhere, adding that the party has worked for the people of the State.

“You activate the voting machine with your voter’s card once you have been accredited. The whole process takes less than 15 seconds; it’s very quick and efficient and you see your ballot paper being printed,” he said.

“As I said several times, we are not going to behave like other parties or other state governments, we will allow the people of Kaduna State to elect who they want.

“We don’t believe in cheating or rigging elections but also we don’t want other parties to cheat us and that was why encouraged the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission to come up with a fool-proof voting process.”

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‘Our roads now death traps’ — AAC speaks on killing of Sowore’s brother

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The African Action Congress (AAC) has condoled with Omoyele Sowore, national chairman of the party, over the death of his brother.

Olajide, the younger brother of Sowore, convener of the #RevolutionNow movement, was murdered on Saturday along the Benin-Lagos highway.

The deceased was a student of Igbinedion University, Okada.

In a statement issued by Femi Adeyeye, AAC national publicity secretary, the party blamed President Muhammadu Buhari for the spate of insecurity in the country, adding that no one is safe whether inside or outside of their home.

Shall we remind ourselves that many a Nigerian has been slain by the incompetence of the Buhari regime failure to secure lives and property and that no one is safe either at home, land, air or on sea including on our roads that are now clear death traps,” the statement reads.

“It is so sad that the insecurity ravaging our land is no more a matter of “if”, it is now an issue of “when”- when will it get to us?

“Although we are mourning with our teeth-gnashing and our eyes filled with tears, yet we can see clearly and it is to this end we call on the police and other security agents to investigate the circumstances surrounding this killing and fish out the killers of this young promising Nigerian whose life of service to the country has just been cut short.”

The party also called on Nigerians to put aside tribal and religious differences and unite to remove the present government from power.

“The AAC calls on Nigerians to bond as a matter of expediency, and organize with actions to kick out this regime that has failed woefully on its three major promises- providing security for all Nigerians, reviving the economy and fighting corruption,” the party said.

“The reality before us today is that if we do not bond, leaving behind our tribal and religious differences to end this terrorist regime, it will end us separately. This is not a bad prayer or wish at all.”

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Photos: Toyota Hilux Test Drive at Smokin Hills Golf Resort Ilara-Mokin Ondo State on Saturday September 04

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