The Director General, Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), Prof Danladi Matawal, yesterday, explained the role of the agency in halting the trend of building collapses in the country.
Receiving members of House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology, led by their chairman, Mr. Beni Lar, who were on oversight visit, Matawal said the agency has been aggressive in recent years, in conducting researchers aimed at institutionalising contemporary techniques of constructions.
These techniques, the director general said, include use of alternative interlocking block-making technology and trainings aimed at ensuring quality assurance in the delivery of construction activities in the country.
Speaking on the agency’s budget performance of 2016, Matawal said at the moment, the occurrences of building collapses are in single digits, such as five or nine in a year, whereas the total number of collapse building in Lagos alone as at 2011 was reportedly 33.
He said the outcomes of the agency’s numerous researches have been useful to federal government in planning and documentation.
The constructions, he said, are in the areas of roads, bridges, culverts, flyovers and buildings.
“I am glad to inform you that NBRRI is a research-based institute. Our mandate does not include regulation. That is COREN and other relevant units of government.
“Our mandate is capacity building and research development in the building, roads, engineering materials and construction for the development of the Nigerian economy.
“I am aware that Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has permanent representation in the supervision of road construction, especially. Through our intervention, the number of collapse building in parts of the country has reduced.
“In 2011 alone, the number of collapse buildings in Lagos was 33, but in 2013, the number went down to about 17, and now, it’s in single digits.
“At a time in Abuja, the number was 22 in a year, but it’s now zero, also based on the support we give to government,” he said.
Matawal said the agency is committed to justifying the N4.121 billion budgetary allocations for 2016 in delivering on its mandate, promising to extend its trainings to local builders for the purpose of delivering quality, durable and long lasting buildings and roads.
In her remarks, Lar assured the agency of the committee’s resolve in adhering to standards in building and roads’ constructions, noting that it was the only way the country could minimize accidents and emergencies that are avoidable.