SON lists Those Things Responsible for Building Collapse

SON lists Those Things Responsible for Building Collapse

… Poor Structural Designs, Quackery, Inadequate Soil Testing, Among Others

SON lists Those Things Responsible for Building Collapse.


The Standards Oganisation of Nigeria (SON) has said that findings from their investigation of incessant building collapse in the country revealed that the recurring root causes include: Poor structural designs, quackery and unprofessionalism.

Their findings also include: inadequate soil testing, poor construction practices and procedures, unapproved construction, wrong demolition process, lack of maintenance, negligence, use of substandard materials (Steel reinforcement bars) poor drainage around the collapsed buildings.


These findings were presented by the immediate past Director General/Chief Executive of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, at a press briefing ‘On Instances of Building Collapse in The Country.’

Salim said, “The unfortunate incidents of building collapse in the country, which has resulted in the loss of lives, jobs, finance, and environmental degradation amongst others.”

He said the mission of attaining a safe environment for the citizens of Nigeria through standardisation and quality assurance is unending and “the Organisation in collaboration with other sector regulators including the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Raw Materials, Research and Development Council (RMRDC), the Ministry of Works and other developments agencies at both the state and federal levels is working tirelessly to address this menace. 6. Section 5(1) (a) of the SON ACT NO: 14 of 2015 empowers the Organisation to organise tests and do everything necessary to ensure compliance with standards designated and approved by the Council.


“Some of the measures adopted by the Organisation to ensure compliance with approved standards in the Building industry are:

  1. Elaboration Of Over 168 Standards And Codes Of Practice For The Building And Construction Industry: Amongst the standards and codes of practice developed by SON in the industry are: i. Nigerian Industrial Standard NIS 117: 2004 Specification for Steel Bars for The Reinforcement of Concrete ii. Nigerian Industrial Standard NIS 499: 2004 Standard for Iron and Steel iii. Nigerian Industrial Standard NIS 588: 2007 Testing Hardened Concrete – Part 1 Method for Determination of the Compressive Strength of Concrete Cores iv. Nigerian Industrial Standard NIS 585: 2007 Standard for Concrete Admixtures – Part 1 – Specification for Accelerating Admixtures, Retarding Admixtures and Water Reducing Admixtures v. Nigerian Industrial Standard NIS 156:1982 Standard

Method for Testing Fresh Concrete.

Nigerian Industrial Standard NIS ISO 41001:2020 Facility Management System Standard. B. Conformity Assessment Programmes For Locally Manufactured And Imported Products SON enforces compliance with standards through its twin conformity assessment programmes of MANCAP and SONCAP. i. Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) ensures that all locally manufactured products including building materials meet the requirements of the relevant Nigerian Industrial Standards.

This has been achieved through periodic factory inspections of local manufacturers, certification of products, and assignment of unique numbers to the products. ii. Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) is a pre-shipment verification of conformity to standards to ensure that products including building materials imported into Nigeria conform to the applicable Nigerian Industrial standards or approved equivalent. C. Creation Of The National Standardization And Quality Assurance Committee For The Building And Construction Industry In Nigeria.


The National Standardisation and Quality Assurances Committee for the Building and Construction Industry in Nigeria was inaugurated by the Director General/Chief Executive SON. The members of the committee are drawn from 35 agencies including the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Raw Material and Research Development Council (RMRDC) who are all critical stakeholders in the construction industry. The terms of reference of the committee include: i.

To identify causes of building and construction failures in Nigeria. ii. Establish best codes of practices for each recognised building and construction industry professional. iii. Establish best codes of practice for activities on building and construction sites. iv. Develop a quality assurance programme for implementation, monitoring, and enforcement of standards and codes within the building and construction sector. D.

Special Intervention

To Standardise Steel Reinforcement Bars: Findings from Market surveillance conducted by SON’s task force revealed that there were substandard reinforcement steel bars in the market.


After a series of engagements with stakeholders in the sector, the Organisation carried out a full-scale nationwide enforcement in factories and marketplaces, and culpable dealers were sanctioned in line with the provisions of the SON Act No.14 2015.

While these raids have greatly limited the availability of substandard steel bars in the markets there is still a need for more to be done.

. Public Education And Awareness Campaigns:

The SON has regularly carried out nationwide campaigns to educate the public on the dangers of using substandard materials, the importance of adhering to building codes, and the need for regular inspections and maintenance of buildings.


Stakeholder sensitisations for block molders and cement-related products such as Concrete poles, Kerbs, Concrete rings, etc. are regularly carried out and Artisans are engaged on the need to constantly update their knowledge and hone their skills.

The Organisation’s State Offices across the country also carry out quarterly monitoring of building materials sales outlets, such as cement, Roofing sheets, Nails, Reinforcement bars, paints, and Aluminum roofing sheets.

Meetings are also regularly held with manufacturers from different sections of the building industry in the country, educating them on the importance of compliance with standards. Testing and Laboratory Services:

The Organisation in the past 10 years has invested huge resources in building competence to carry out quality tests in the Building Industry nationwide. The continuous provision of laboratory equipment including mobile block testing machines has yielded positive results over the years.

By implementing these measures, the Organisation seeks to ensure that all buildings in the country are safe, structurally sound, and built to withstand the various environmental and usage conditions they may face. Notwithstanding the existing measures already put in place to address this issue, I must acknowledge the need to continually upgrade the regulatory strategies for the Construction Industry in Nigeria to ensure the safety of Nigerians.

By the Provisions of Section 5(2) of the SON ACT NO: 14 of 2015 all regulatory agencies or Organisation’s dealing with matters pertaining to, or related to standards shall do so in collaboration with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria for the purpose of uniformity of Standards.

“I therefore invite all agencies and Organisation’s falling under this category in the Building industry to work closely with SON toward ensuring a safe environment for all Nigerians. As a nation, we must imbibe and promote voluntary compliance to standards as is done in other parts of the world. Authorities responsible for granting building approvals must ensure compliance with all relevant requirements, processes, and procedures.

Stiffer penalties must be meted on offenders and those who complicit in building collapse. You hardly hear of cases where the Contractor who handled the contract is prosecuted or punished in one way or the other. SON is committed to working closely with relevant government agencies, industry stakeholders, and the public to address the issue of building collapses in Nigeria. I urge the public to report any suspected cases of using substandard materials or poor construction practices to the organisation through any of our offices in all the states of the Federation including the FCT, for prompt action.

“The safety and well-being of Nigerians remain a top priority for the Standards Organisation of Nigeria and I invite all stakeholders to join this unending struggle towards ensuring the safety of lives and properties in Nigeria.

“I, therefore, reassure Nigerians that SON is committed to “improving life through Standards” and quality assurance to guarantee a safe, secure, and prosperous nation.”

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