In order to reduce the rate of building collapse in the country, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) has vowed to produce competent builders and reduce the number of quacks in the building industry.

It noted that it would be counterproductive for the growth of the construction industry if competent builders were not engaged.

Its President, Kunle Awobodu, said this during his investiture as the 20th President of the institute in Abuja at the weekend.

Awobodu noted that the goal of the institute is to secure standard sites for building students on industrial training.

He said building education had spread across the country, as Nigeria currently has 27 universities and 60 polytechnics that offer training in building.

Awobodu said: “If such graduates are scheduled in a process to become resident builders just like resident doctors, and in a nexus with seasoned builders, there would be less poor construction work on sites.

“This creates a pool of young building practitioners from where developers can recruit to fortify the quality and safety of buildings being sold to the public. The pledge of NIOB to Nigerians is the development of competent builders.

“When the number of buildings being constructed in Nigeria is juxtaposed with the number of trained builders, there seems to be a missing link.

According to him, quacks were occupying the space meant for competent builders.

“It is only in a nation that lacks a veritable building code and effective mechanism for the implementation of building regulations that such an aberration could exist.

“The major problem confronting the nation’s built environment is the attitude of not understanding and appreciating the importance of appropriate building production management,” he said.

He stated that building construction was a delicate work that required thorough supervision and stressed that artisans must know their limitations.

“Building construction is a huge investment that artisans should not experiment or fiddle with for selfish reasons,” Awobodu added.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who’s message to the NIOB was read at the event, charged the institute to blaze new trails in skills development and in the promotion of innovative building techniques.

He said: “Your current regulatory instruments must be fine-tuned to arrest quackery, punish professional recklessness and reward excellence.

“A professional builder has the duty to identify his exclusive role in the built industry and respect the roles of others. More importantly, you have a bigger task of recognising common roles and express commitment to them.”

The minister said the Federal Government would continue to support the building industry by creating jobs for professionals and artisans in the sector.

On his part, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, challenged Nigerian builders to come up with building construction innovation that would not only stand the test of time but would also be suitable for tropical weather conditions.

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He recalled how pre-colonial mud buildings in Nigeria adequately served Nigerians of that era and encouraged builders to be professional in their activities.