An uncompleted lecture hall collapsed at Niger Delta University, which is owned by the Bayelsa State government, collapsed on Friday, but there were no human casualties, several sources said. “The collapsed building however injured one construction worker who is in the danger list at a hospital,” one source revealed.
Several sources told SaharaReporters that some 50 people who usually squat in the uncompleted building were lucky that none of them got killed in the collapse.
Some sources blamed Governor Seriake Dickson for retaining quack contractors who use substandard construction material. One worker said the site engineer was notorious for cutting corners with materials as well as compromising on standardized building code.
“The motives of the site engineer are questionable,” said a worker. “He keeps flouting standard formulae for mixing concrete. He uses more sand than chippings. And, in mixing cement and sand, he is known to compromise quality.”
Another critic said it was no surprise that the building went down. “Thank God it happened during the day when most of the people who sleep in the building at night were out,” another construction worker told SaharaReporters.
The Bayelsa branch of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) weighed in, ascribing the collapse to the use of quacks on the project. The NIA’s chairperson, Stella Rain, led a team of architectural experts to assess the building. Ms. Rain stated that the group intends to conduct a detailed investigation into the collapsed building.
Professor Humphrey Okonjo, the university’s vice chancellor, said that the defects in the building were detected by the university’s project monitoring unit, but lamented that the problems could not be fixed due to the uncooperative attitude of some Bayelsa government officials.