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Involve geoscientists in construction to tackle building collapse in Nigeria – NMGS President

Prof. Akinade Olatunji, the President of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), has urged Nigerians to involve geoscientists in every construction project to address the increasing incidences of building collapse in the country.

Olatunji made the call at the 59th Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the NGMS in Jos.

He said that the construction sector is booming but requires the involvement of specific professionals, being a multi-disciplinary sector.

“This sector has also been confronted with a plethora of challenges, the major one being quackery and the non-utilisation of relevant professionals for the jobs they are trained to do.

“All the interrogation has been about what the engineers are doing or not doing and the quality of the construction materials.

“The views of other critical partners in the construction industry are not often sought for or sidelined,” he said.

According to him, the best global practice is to engage engineering geologists to run pre-construction soil tests to determine the suitability of the soil for construction as well as the type and depth of foundation required to support the proposed structure.

“If Nigeria must be spared the attendant horror and painful loss of lives and properties associated with collapsed buildings, roads, and bridges,

“It must pay due attention to the contributions of the engineering geologists in the pre-construction investigations needed for such constructions, he said.

He urged Nigeria to take after developed countries where the input of engineering geologists is utilised to assess specific physical properties of sub-surface rocks and soils to determine their suitability for construction purposes, foundation types, and placements.

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The president also emphasised the need for Nigeria to fully harness and deploy geoscience knowledge to significantly improve the country`s fortunes in the water sector.

He expressed deep concern that, despite the large surface and groundwater resources in the country, Nigeria has not been able to provide potable water for its citizens or sufficient water resources for year-round agricultural activities.

“It is a shame that rather than derive blessings from our numerous river systems, what we have is a tale of woes yearly because of devastation from flooding,“ he said.

He decried that the majority of Nigerians depend on groundwater extracted from constructed tube wells, popularly known as boreholes, for their water supply.

He said that the situation has turned the water drilling sector into an all-comers affair, adding that the unregulated abstraction of groundwater has grave implications for the environment.

“To sustainably harness such groundwater resources, the geoscience knowledge must be fully utilised, and our members are fully ready to lead the charge in those directions.

“It is high time we utilized the geoscience information available to us to solve the challenges of the water sector,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN ) reports that the conference had the theme `Emerging Global Perspectives, Trends and Sustainable Development of Minerals and Energy Resources “(NAN)

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