The House of Representatives has passed for second reading a bill seeking to establish a construction materials standardization agency to monitor the use of quality materials in Nigeria’s construction industry.
The bill, sponsored by Hon. Gideon Gwani was titled “A Bill For an Act to establish the Construction Materials Standardization Agency to standardize and control the use of materials for the construction industry in Nigeria and for related matters”
In his lead debate on the general principles of the bill, Gwani recalled the sad event of a 21-storey building collapse at Ikoyi, Lagos State, saying that the lives lost could have been prevented if there was an agency to ensure quality of materials.
According to the Honorable, the functions of the agency when established shall include enforcing compliance with the laws, policies and standards on construction materials matters amongst others.
He said “Building collapse can be attributed to poor sub-standardized building materials which leads to structural defects, hence the need for the Construction Materials Standardization Agency. The duties of the Agency includes but not limited to: enforcement of compliance with all legislations or regulations on the importation, production, distribution, storage, sale, use of substandard or hazardous construction materials and monitoring of construction projects to ensure strict adherence to regulations and standards set by the Agency and other relevant authorities.
“This will ensure that substandard building materials are not imported or produced in the country for building projects and that the building projects are closely monitored or supervised.
“Noteworthy is the fact that preventing haphazard development and substandard building construction is less expensive and more effective than the eventual demolition of such buildings.
The bill was which witnessed a debate and support by some members was eventually voted on and passed for second reading.
It was later referred to the Committee on Housing and Industry for further legislative action.