Many reasons have been adduced to the collapse of building in a shopping complex in Abuja read more here but there are some basic factors that must have contributed to the problems, chief among them is greed on the part of the contractor, many houses in Nigeria are not habitable but people are actively living and working in them out of ignorance or because they have no choice. The materials that most people are using to construct buildings in Nigeria are substandard and very often times inadequate, which is caused by over dependence on one project to survive for a long time, therefore you will see where a builder will want to make so much money in a very small project.
Professionals are often contacted, I will be surprised if there was no professional handling that particular job but the issue is how many clients are ready to pay for the professional fees? Practically non, even in a big project like banks Nigerians still find it difficult to pay the professionals their dues, so the consultants will only pay lip service and the supervision is always very shallow because of this problem. Imagine a situation where an architect is commissioned for a job to be done and he is paid only for the drawings, when he is talking about supervision with his client it becomes a matter of stress to the client, this consultant is incapacitated and the client unknowingly may have shot himself in the foot by not allowing room for proper supervision. Every professional wants to get paid.
Now, checking the quality of materials is definitely an area where we are also getting it wrong we need to have the professionals on site when concrete is been cast, the funny thing in Nigeria building industry is that we the professionals leave the testing of the strength of materials used on site to the contractor, so for someone that is planning to cheat all he has to do is to prepare a quality mix to the testing laboratory while on site he is using a very poor mix. The same thing with the quality of iron rods or reinforcements.
Another common issue is the time frame been set by Nigerian clients to finish up a project. Yes time is money but when you misuse it, then you may not even be alive any longer to contemplate about time disaster could be as close as you can imagine. Just for the mere facts that you now have so much money is not enough to drive your builder mad to deliver a building for you at an unreasonable time frame—Our bank property units officials are the greatest culprits infact they should share in the blame for any bank building that collapse. They pile so much pressure on a contractor to deliver a project at most unreasonable time ,this will cause some people not to wait for proper curing time of materials before they take the next task. Every task in a building construction process requires a time frame to get done before you can move to the next task, they are often interdependent but this is no longer the case with our modern day rush madness.
Government officials also contributes in no small measure to problems of building collapse. The regulatory authorities often time look the other way when it comes to sanctioning erring contractors because of corruption. In some areas they do connive with contractors to allow what is totally unacceptable to be approved, this and more are contributing to problems of building collapse…
Read my pillar topic Causes of Building Collapse in Nigeria.