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COREN’s Laxity Behind Repeated Building Collapse In Delta -TIB

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The Take It Back (TIB), Delta State Chapter is a Pro-democracy and Human Rights group committed to the protection and prevention of the flagrant abuses of the rights of citizens in Delta State, Nigeria.

Only recently, we have read with dismay, shock and consternation of how people were reported to have been trapped under a collapsed church building in Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria

The building which belongs to the Asaba branch of the Salvation Ministries located opposite Rain oil, Okpanam Road by Noble Academy, in Asaba, was said to have caved in during a service and collapsed on Tuesday evening.

We were able to gather that the construction work was ongoing in a part of the church building before the incident and we further learnt that the victims included children, as part of the building which caved in, was the children section.

It will be recalled, President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Engineers (Registration etc.) Amendment Act, 2019, the principal Act establishing the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria-COREN with power vested.

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The new amendment broadened the powers of COREN with far-reaching powers of prosecution of infractions, regulating industrial training of Engineers, capacity building of local content in Nigeria engineering industry.

Specifically, the new law grants COREN powers of “prosecuting any person or firm that contravenes the provisions of this Act in a court of competent jurisdiction, regulating industrial training schemes in engineering practitioners and students.

The Act broadened ‘Engineering practitioners’ to include a Registered Engineer, Engineering technologist, Engineering technician and Engineering craftsman. It emphasis more on ‘Engineering Practitioners’ as against ‘Engineer’.

It is our humble submission that COREN has been missing in action in Delta State.

In 2018, the mysterious collapsed of a school building in Amukpe Community, Sapele Delta State, claimed the life of a 14year old primary six pupil identified as Experience Ofara.

In August 2017, fear gripped residents of Sapele as a multi-million naira storey building under construction collapsed along popular Ikoyo street in Sapele, Delta State.

In 2020, at Ughelli, a boy identified as Gbenga who just finished his West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) was knocked down by a collapsing fence along Damure street in Ughelli, killing him instantly.

Same 2020, in Okpanam, Oshimili North Local Government Area of the State, a fire fighter, Ben Aladino and family members narrowly escaped death in their apartment when an overhead water tank collapsed on their living room.

In 2021, no fewer than five communities in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State were cut off following the sudden collapse of a 29year old Eru Bridge, along Uzere /Asaba Ase Expressway

In 2019, several persons were killed while others were trapped following the collapse of a 3-story building at Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State.

In same 2019, a two storey building under construction collapsed in Marine Quarters, Warri, Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.

In 2015, a female Police officer and Aide-De-Camp(ADC) to the first lady of one of the Northern States, and several others, were reportedly injured in the wee hours of Wednesday, 7/9/2015 when the popular Mekaval Hotel located in Effurun-Warri, Delta State Collapsed causing injury to at least seven persons.

However, most of the cases of collapsed building in Delta State were never investigated by COREN before now and this has created a state of anarchy and lawlessness in the building and construction Industry in Delta State.

COREN should set up ‘Engineering Regulation Monitoring Taskforce’ to partner with human rights groups and the Police and this taskforce should go to sites to monitor personnel, they should monitor technologists, technicians, or craftsman and if quacks are detected, such persons should be charged to court accordingly.

Until these steps are taken by COREN, its laxity is behind repeated building collapse in Delta State.

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