BUILDING FAILURE AND COLLAPSE IN NIGERIA: THE INFLUENCE OF THE INFORMAL SECTOR
1.1 Background of Study
Building collapse, though a common phenomenon all over the world is more rampant and devastating in the developing countries. The incidence of building failures and collapses has become major issues of concern in the development of this nation as the frequencies of their occurrence and the magnitude of the losses in terms of lives and properties are now becoming very alarming. In fact, building collapse has now become a familiar occurrence, even to layman on the street in Nigeria.
Failure in building can be described as the inability of the building components not being adequate to perform what are normally expected or required of those components. On the other hand, when part or whole structure has failed and suddenly gave way in a way that as a result of this failure, the building could not meet the purpose for which it was intended, the building has collapsed. Failures in building can occur during different stages of construction process itself, as well as after. In Nigeria, the common causes of building collapse have been traced to bad design, faulty construction, use of low quality materials, hasty construction, foundation failure, lack of proper supervision, ineffective enforcement of building codes by the relevant Town Planning Authorities, lack of proper maintenance etc. (Folagbade, 2001 and Badejo, 2009)
Cases of building collapse are not restricted by climatology or level of urbanization as they cut across cultural and ethnical barriers. Many cases of building collapse have been reported in Nigeria. For instance, Folagbade (2001) and Chinwokwo (2000) enumerated forty- two (42) cases of building collapse as occurring between 1980 and 1999 in Nigeria while Makinde ( 2007) listed fifty-four (54) cases occurring between January 2000 and June 2007 alone. Building collapse has also been observed to cut across the different categories of building – private, corporate or public. Folagbade (2001) showed that of the twenty-five (25) reported cases of building collapse between 1980 and 1999 in Lagos State, private (76%), corporate (12%) and government or public buildings (12%) accounted for these proportions. Also, building collapse is no respecter of size of the structure.