AN ENGINEERING MANAGEMENT APPROACH TO STRUCTURAL FAILURES AND BUILDING COLLAPSES IN NIGERIA

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

This research work is part of the continuing search for a lasting solution to the problem of collapse of building structures in Nigeria. It has become timely and compelling, deserving attention if only to curb the menace and step up the economy especially as part of the transformation agenda of the current Federal Government of Nigeria spanning years 2011-2015. The negative impact of building collapses ranges from psychological trauma on victims to the decline of the economy of the nation as lives and property are lost, revenues to government in tenement rates and taxes are lost, as well as the embarrassment to the professional stakeholders in the construction industry. These cannot further be endured and Nigerians, nay the world cannot wait to welcome solutions to the phenomenon. Engineers among other professionals hold stakes in the building construction industry as they are engaged in structural design, construction, maintenance and project management from where they play traditional preventive roles to mitigate undesirable occurrences like building structures failure and collapse. As complement to these roles, it is proposed that the emerging discipline of Engineering management should develop a management process approach to further confront the menace of building structures collapse. This approach should harbour in its meaning, the considerations for imperative sustainable development if we are to reap its full value chain. Building collapses are disasters caused man’s propensity to execute buildings with reluctance or zero compliance to best practices in the industry as captured in the codes of practice, regulations and standards. This results in rejecting the use of appropriate materials, technology and quality workmanship. Our assignment in seeking ways of effectively managing building collapses goes beyond the search for causes, a mere exercise in philosophy. For Plato, philosophy was ‘always reasons about being’, and can be said to culminate in the higher knowledge of the principles and causes of things and actions (Uka and Okoro, 2014).

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