HomeCover StoriesEXCLUSIVE: How developer of collapsed Kano building ignored warnings to stop work...

EXCLUSIVE: How developer of collapsed Kano building ignored warnings to stop work – Experts

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Experts and regulators have revealed how the developer of the ill-fated building in Kuntau area of Kano city ignored warnings to stop work on the property before its collapse.

Daily News 24 reports that at least three people died, while two others, were rescued with serious injuries, when the three-storey structure collapsed on Friday around 9:30am.

It was learnt that the two rescued workers are currently receiving medical treatment at Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital in Kano city.

Credible sources told Daily News 24 that the collapsed building belongs to a former chairman of Kano Municipal local government council, but efforts to verify the claim was unsuccessful as the alleged owner could not be reached for confirmation.

According to an eyewitness who doubles as a human rights activist, Comrade Abubakar AA, the building’s owner was questioned twice by the Kano State Urban Planning and Development Authority (KNUPDA) on the need to stop work on the building.

“What we know is that when you want to build you need to seek for approval from appropriate authority but from the information we have, KNUPDA had given a notice for the developer to stop work until an approval was given to him,” Mr Abubakar said.

“They gave him two weeks notice to report to them, but he failed to appear before them.”

Comrade AA Abubakar

‘Developer took six weeks to complete multi-storey structure’

Comr. Abubakar said the building was started before the month of Ramadan and was almost completed within just six weeks.

In an interview with Daily News 24, Engr. Murtala Alhaji Garba, head of civil sector engineering regulating monitor (ERM) COREN, also faulted the structures and materials used in the building.

He equally attributed the accident to the non-involvement of professions at all levels of the building.

“Our call has always been to follow the due process. We want people to know that each profession has its own expert building included.

“This is a building that is going to house people. There are steps you know to follow and guidelines since, from the design stage, building materials include blocks, iron, and concrete,” he said.

Engr Murtala Alhaji Garba

Developers ignore professionals in projects

Engr. Garba added that for any building to stand the test of time, it needs to be properly monitored and managed by professionals.

“At each stage, these professionals have laid down rules on how to carry them out, but people are eager to finish a building without taking all the rules into consideration.

“People always assumed they knew everything, so they just started without taking advice from the experts.

“Ideally, the design should have been done by an architect, while the building structure by an engineer, the cost analysis by a quantity surveyor, and none of them interfered with the work of others.,” Engr. Garba explained.

Also read: NEMA confirms 3 dead, 2 injured in Kano building collapse 

“We urged people, especially the state regulatory agencies that have to do with building, to be hiring professionals in the areas of their expertise when they want to build.”

But according to the 3rd Vice President of the Nigerian Institute of Architecture (NIA), Arch. Muktar Ali, this doesn’t come as a surprise.

Most of the buildings here in Kano lack quality and are mostly not approved by the building regulatory agency.

“This is something to be worried about, and it clearly shows that the building was poorly built, lacks quality, and doesn’t follow the laid-down procedure. So it doesn’t come to us as a surprise.” Arch Muktar Ali said.

Arch Muktar Ali

Speaking earlier at the scene of the collapsed building, Arch Bashir Hasan Hanga, chairman of the Kano state chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Architecture (NIA), described the situation as worrisome and needed the state government’s attention to tame it properly.

According to Arch Bashir, “KNUPDA should be supported and encouraged by the governor to ensure proper monitoring of buildings and approvals. Even after it was approved, the buildings should be supervised at every stage by their engineers, just as it is done in Abuja.”

Arch Bashir Hassan Hanga

Need for collaboration with community leaders

On his part, the Ward Head of Kunta, Alhaji Balarabe Na Sidi, has called for more synergy between state government agencies like KNUPDA and royal fathers to tackle this menace of indiscriminate buildings in Kano.

He added that “the village head should know his area and what is going on there. Ideally, if the building is going on, I should know about it and personally go supervise it to know whether they have followed the laid-down procedures and guidelines, such as KNUPDA and Land. Where are your papers? Let me see them, and they can continue their work if they meet the requirements.”

Malam Balarabe Nasidi

KNUPDA seeks arrest of Developer

However, in a statement issued on Saturday by Bahijja Malam Kabara, the spokesperson of KNUPDA, the agency said the developer of the Kuntau building has violated sections 11,12 and 13 of its laws.

Mrs Kabara said the KNUPDA Managing Director (MD) Arc. Ibrahim Yakub Adamu has warned that anybody found contravening KNUPDA laws will not go scot-free.

“The Managing-Director, therefore, urged the general public that are about to commence any building to first secure building permit from KNUPDA before embarking on property development.

“According to him, since the inception of the administration of Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, KNUPDA has simplified the process of acquiring building permit in the state.

“He added that recently a one-stop unit was established to promptly issue building permit to the public unlike before when it used to take months before the completion of the process.

“The MD further stated that those applying for building permit should also submit drawings and designs for betting and assessment before developing any structure in order to curb building collapse in future.

“He enumerated the series of measures that are taken by KNUPDA to ensure full compliance by the public.

“He described the recent unfortunate building collapse in the state as an act of negligence as KNUPDA had earlier served them with first and second notices to stop before the building collapsed.

“Arc. Yakubu Adamu also disclosed that meetings were held in collaboration with security agencies to find out the developer and bring him to book.

“He unveiled the daily exercise to be conducted by a high-powered KNUPDA task force committee to ascertain the building approvals toward minimizing the risk of building collapse in the state.

“He then extended his condolences to the family of the victims and prayed for the quick recovery of those hospitalized,” the statement read.

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