Guild's Caution to Lagos Government Amid Professionals' Rush for Certification Scheme
In response to the recent introduction of the Certified Accreditor Programme (CAP) by the Lagos State government, professionals within the construction and built environment have shown a keen interest in participating. However, the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) has raised concerns about the mass registration of applicants for this program.
The CAP initiative was launched with the aim of addressing the recurring issue of building collapses in Lagos State. It seeks to involve private-sector building professionals in the approval process for building plans, the monitoring and certification of construction projects, and the assessment of structural integrity. Participants in the program are required to pay an annual registration fee, ranging from N200,000 to N500,000, along with a yearly professional indemnity insurance fee of N2,500,000. The remuneration for CAP participants is intended to be sourced from developers and homeowners by the government.
While the BCPG appreciates the adoption of the private sector participation model by the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development (MPP&UD), it raises doubts about whether CAP can serve as a complete solution to the problem of building collapses or failures in the state.
Joseph Akande, Chairman of the BCPG Lagos chapter, cautioned that if not properly managed, the enthusiasm surrounding CAP could lead to a situation where individuals are primarily motivated by financial gain, likening it to an invitation to "come and eat."
He pointed out that professionals whose fields are not included in the program may feel left out of potential incentives, benefits, and support, leading to allegations of favoritism and marginalization among those in the lower categories. This perceived bias could potentially create disunity among professionals in the built environment and divert attention from the risks associated with CAP.
Akande emphasized that some individuals may prioritize financial gains over ethical considerations, highlighting cases where so-called professionals endorse or sign stage certification forms for buildings they did not oversee. Interestingly, many of these individuals are now seeking the certified accreditor roles, despite having previously avoided voluntary service with BCPG.
NDUKWU REAFFIRMS DEDICATION TO ADVANCING THE TRAVEL AND REAL ESTATE SECTORS IN AFRICA
NIGERIA'S HOUSING MINISTRY FOCUSES ON LAND ACCESS AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING SOLUTIONS
IMO'S TRIZONE HOUSING INITIATIVE, EX-GOVERNOR INDICATED
During a recent BCPG meeting in Lagos State, members expressed concerns about the commercialization of the building collapse crisis through company registrations. Akande suggested that participants in the CAP should declare their assets before commencing operations and undergo moral and ethical training. They should be held to stringent conditions, with severe disciplinary actions for those who deviate from ethical standards. The yearly N2,500,000 indemnity insurance fees, he argued, might prove insignificant if CAP participants' interventions or incompetencies result in severe building defects.
Akande also cautioned against allowing revenue generation to take precedence over building control principles. Building control officials should prioritize quality control rather than focusing on finding building regulation offenders solely for the purpose of meeting revenue targets. This approach often leads to negotiations and reductions in fines, benefiting only a select few.
In conclusion, the BCPG warns against turning the review of building plans and site monitoring into profit-driven ventures, as it may burden developers and homeowners. The key to the success of the CAP program lies in ensuring transparency, ethics, and a focus on building safety above all else.