Against the backdrop of recurring incidents of collapsed buildings in the country, a front line lawyer and human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana has challenged built environment professionals to fish out those who cut corners in building constructions and in the process erect buildings that are dangerous for human habitation.
Falana who spoke at the 7th Annual Distinguished Lecture organised by the Lagos branch of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, NIQS in Lagos stated that instead of sanctions, such culprits should be made to face the full weight of the law.
He enjoined them to insist that anybody who practises without acquiring relevant professional knowledge, is jailed. In the same vein, he suggested that foreigners who practise as quantity surveyors without registering with the regulatory body, should also be jailed.
According to him, it would take sacrifice and commitment to the rule of law, to rebuild the country's decaying infrastructure. Mr Falana who criticized the privatization of assets in Nigeria, described what goes on as "the transfer of public assets into private hands without the buyers paying for it".
He noted that it is only in Nigeria that people buy government property, sell part of it and use the proceeds to pay for that asset.
He enjoined the Federal Government to partner with state governments to tap the abundant mineral resources that abound in different parts of the country. Noting that public infrastructures have been allowed to waste, Falana called for an end to what he called "the monumental corruption that has reduced Nigeria to a poverty-stricken nation".
Earlier, the President of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, NIQS, Alhaji Murtala Aliyu called for the creation of an enabling environment that would allow the private sector to partner with the government in the provision of the much needed infrastructure in the country.
The chairman of Lagos NIQS, Mrs. Adenike Ayanda said the chapter has always worked towards contributing positively to the development of the quantity surveying profession.
This is evidenced by the various activities it organises all year round and expressed by the distinct projects carried out by its members generally. The theme of the lecture, she explained, was chosen to examine the past leadership with a view of setting an agenda for the new administration.