Reflecting on the recent and highly devastating collapse of a 21-storey building Ikoyi, which happened earlier this week, first off, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims’ families and loved ones.
Back to our thoughts, Lagos skyline has been inundated with promising and beautiful edifices which ensure Lagos remains at the precipice of a smart city. It’s allure of glamor and affluence despite the gloomy economic realities, certain locations enjoy premium attention. Ikoyi can be argued as one of the wealthiest suburbs in Africa housing the 1% of the 1%. Beautiful and enchanting residential and commercial developments in the pages of newspapers, billboards, social media campaigns become the center-piece of luxury and lifestyle.
Every developer trying to out-do each other taking high rises to breathtaking heights with cutting-edge facilities services offered in each development.
Recently, the dark-side of real estate construction has reared its ugly head. The total failure of client, professional and regulatory agency culminating into a monumental catastrophe.
Construction quality is incessantly a crucial factor in growing real estate development business, but not everyone is able to control the quality of their project. In fact, research indicates that over 50% of construction defects can be attributed to human factors such as unskilled workers, insufficient and incompetent supervision, and 15% are based on poor quality materials and systematic failure/ poor regulatory oversight.
The collapse of a building has huge ripple effects that cannot be easily forgotten by people let alone its victims for which the consequences include; loss of lives, injuries, loss of properties, investments, jobs, income, loss of trust, and environmental disaster.
Mediocre culture – The urgency to take critical projects not just construction of buildings but also maintenance culture seriously as a matter of life and death situation can’t be overemphasized. In this part of the world, we tend to gloss over serious issues and believe things would ‘sort themselves out’. Hardly the case because whatever is worth doing is worth doing well.
Benjamin Franklin quoted “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
Our mindset change towards what matters within our environment ensures sustainability and longevity of life and living itself.
In conclusion, construction projects can be likened to a medical surgery. The right combination of experts, quality tools, environmental infrastructure all coming together to safe lives. The breakdown in the chain definitely can be left to one’s imagination. Building collapses is cumulatively a breakdown in the construction management chain.
As we commiserate with the victims and families of the 21-floor building collapse, we advocate for proper scrutiny of all inputs in construction management from materials to manpower to regulatory oversight to save lives and protect investments.