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A bill for a law to establish a Building and Civil Engineering Construction Materials Quality Control Centre in the state Thursday scaled through its second reading in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
The bill which is sponsored by the member representing Onna state constituency, Hon. NSE Essien seeks the establishment of a body to monitor and enforce set standards in the building and construction industry in the state. This according to the lawmaker would help check the use of sub-standard materials in building construction, flouting of minimum standards in the civil engineering practice and put an end to the collapse of buildings in the state.
He however lamented that if such a body was in place, the tragic Reigners Bible Church collapse of last December would have been averted.
Hon. Essien expressed the hope that the bill when passed into law would help to establish quality control standards for every civil engineering construction material used in the state.
“The bill will create, adopt and establish uniform standards for quality control tests to be conducted on materials used in construction”.
“It will formulate policies for maintenance of standards for civil and construction engineering materials, provide for periodic visits to construction sites to carryout inspection of materials, perform tests and analysis on samples collected from site or submitted by persons or companies engaged in civil or construction of road building bridges, jetty drainage of their components”, he said.
Speaking further, Hon. Nse Essien added that such specialised body would issue certificate of compliance with standards after tests are carried out on samples of civil construction engineering materials and their test laboratories with the monitoring of construction sites in state while the performance of private and public material testing laboratories would be assessed to ensure compliance.
“It would also provide expert information and public enlightenment services to support the maintenance of standards for civil and construction engineering projects in the state, encourage the use of locally produced civil and construction engineering materials produced with quality control certification bearing its seal”, the lawmaker added while advocating such body to be given a specialized unit of the state Ministry of works.
Reacting, Hon. Friday Iwok representing Abak state constituency said the bill is apt based on experiences from different collapsed buildings in recent times.
Hon. Iwok note that the incessant collapse of buildings in the country stems from absence of monitoring and quality control.
Adding his voice ,Hon. Uduak Udoudo representing Ikot Abasi/Eastern obolo state constituency supported the bill and urged members to give the bill the due attention it deserves.