June 19, 2024

In an effort to prevent instances of building collapse, the Abia government has given approval for the establishment of a standardized material testing laboratory in Umuahia.

Kingsley Agomoh, the General Manager of Umuahia Capital Development Authority (UCDA), made this announcement while addressing journalists in Umuahia. He characterized the initiative as one of the government’s proactive measures to prevent the use of inferior building materials.

Agomoh explained that the initiative would aid the government in ensuring that every building, road, and bridge constructed in the state adheres to the required standards. He emphasized that starting any construction work and obtaining approval at each stage of the building process would be challenging without undergoing material testing at this laboratory.

“We plan to establish a top-notch facility in Umuahia, with subsequent facilities in other parts of the state like Aba and Ohafia as time progresses,” added Mr. Agomoh. The facility’s purposes would include conducting soil tests, checking rod reinforcement, and examining aggregate materials and asphalt.

Agomoh also disclosed the government’s diligent efforts to ensure that building permits are issued within 30 days of submission, with ongoing initiatives to digitize the operations involved in the issuance of building permits.

Okey Kanu, the Information Commissioner, highlighted that the decision to build the laboratory was motivated by instances of building collapses in the country. He emphasized the government’s commitment to preventing such incidents in the state, considering the associated loss of human and material resources. Kanu further noted that the facility would serve as a research platform.

Kanu mentioned the government’s directive to remove illegal gates and structures obstructing traffic flow in Umuahia, expressing the desire for buildings to fulfill their intended purposes. He stated that UCDA has been working closely with landlords to address this issue and conveyed the government’s determination to curb activities related to ‘agbero,’ with a task force established for this purpose.

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