By Meletus EZE
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concern over the incessant building collapses across the country, warning that those responsible for such incidents of professional negligence will feel the full wrath of the law.
The President gave the warning when he received the leadership of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), led by Mr Obafemi Onashile, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday
According to the president, the dark days of impunity are gone for good, assuring Nigerians that his administration will remain focused and committed to creating an inclusive and diversified economy.
He told members of the Institute that the recent tragic incident in Lagos, and many others across the country, were reminder of the need to strictly adhere to quality standards on construction projects.
‘‘Young innocent lives must never be lost due to incompetence and greed. Simply put, no corners must be cut.
“I want to assure you that those responsible for such incidents of professional negligence will feel the full wrath of the law,’’ he said.
The President welcomed recommendations and suggestions from the Institute on how to enhance the construction industry, directing that they make a formal submission to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing as soon as possible.
President Buhari, again, used the opportunity to thank Nigerians for clearly expressing their desire to move the nation forward.
‘‘Let me start by thanking you for your kind prayers,’’ the President told members of the Institute, who came to congratulate him on his re-election and pledge their solidarity with his administration.
President Buhari added: ‘`Nigerians have clearly spoken of their desire for the country to move forward. On our part, we remain committed to the Change Agenda.
“By the grace of God, and with your continued prayers and support, the dark days of impunity are gone for good.’’
While highlighting the administration’s achievements in stimulating the economy in the past three years, the president noted that growing the nation’s economy means ‘‘national growth must impact the silent majority.’’
He said: ‘‘This is why in the past three years; we focused on key job-creating sectors such as agriculture and infrastructure development.
‘‘You will all recall that our agriculture and infrastructure programmes contributed to our exit from recession. This is a clear example of how, if we push ‘inclusive’ job-creating policies, growth will follow.
‘‘We will remain committed to these and other programmes to ensure the success of our nation is felt by the majority of Nigerians.’’
In his presentation, the President of NIQS, Onashile appealed to the Federal Government to create a Directorate of Quantity Surveying and Projects Costs Management to address the issue of unclear delineation of professional functions amongst construction professions within the Government.
He also made a case for Quantity Surveyors to be mandated and allowed to undertake cost management of projects of all forms on behalf of Government, among others.
The Institute while congratulating the President on his well-deserved re-election, expressed its support and ‘‘total confidence in his administration and leadership direction which have brought hope, progress and stability to Nigeria.’’
A highpoint of the visit was the conferment of the Fellowship Grade of the NIQS-the highest cadre of membership- on President Buhari.
The President was also honoured with the ‘‘Life Champion of Anti-Corruption Crusade in Nigeria’’ Award.==NAN