ABUJA BUILDING COLLAPSE: A SIGN OF DEEP CRISIS IN THE HOUSING INDUSTRY
SPN CONDOLES WITH FAMILIES OF THE AFFECTED PERSONS
On Friday August 17, a building under constructions around Jabi area of Abuja collapsed leaving about three people dead and scores injured according to media reports.
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja Chapter commiserates with the family and love ones of the affected persons. SPN blames the ruling elite for not pursuing a coherent people-oriented housing policy that caters for the housing needs of all for the incessant collapse of buildings. There is a housing deficit of 17 million housing units and the governments at all levels have no plan to build affordable houses for the masses, an action that leaves mostly private developers the free hand to build for profit. It is in the pursuit of profit that standards and safety are usually compromised to reduce cost while government regulatory officials are often bribed to look other way.
The SPN hereby, calls for probe of the collapsed building, as it was reported that the building has been abandoned for fifteen years before the work on the building resumed few months ago. We also call for democratic management and control of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) and the FCT Department of Development by the elected representative of workers, government officials and people in community. It is possible that both the collapse of the building and the disaster that emanated from it is averted, if the FCT Department of Development and Control adequately monitored the stages of building to ensure that standards are met.
To us in SPN, no amount of mortgage policy or private housing policy is capable of reviving the housing industry. This is because building of houses will always be costly and unaffordable as long as the construction materials continue to be expensive and costly beyond what the working people can afford. It is in the light of this that we of SPN often call for public ownership of the industries that produces constructional materials like steel, cement etc., under a democratic control of workers and the communities in order to make the construction material cheap, affordable with a view to guarantee safety and standard. This is the only viable way the aspiration to ensure that houses are built on a massive scale to meet the needs of all can be guaranteed.