By Joy Odor
The Senate on Thursday, passed the Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) to Build Capacity, Conduct Integrated Applied Research and Development in Roads, Buildings and other Related Matters 202 (SB 333) to Secord reading and was referred to the relevant Committee for further legislative inputs.
The Bill which was sponsored by Senator Uche. Ekwunife, representing Anambra Central was first read in the Upper Red Chamber on Wednesday 19th February, 2020 in Abuja.
Leading the debate, Senator Ekwunife disclosed that the bill seeks to establish a legal framework for NBRRI, to conduct applied integrated research and development on buildings, roads, engineering construction, materials and methods, as well as socio economic impacts of constructions, and other environmental factors that affect building and road performances in the country.
According to her, the need for development of code of practice for local produced and emerging materials for the construction sector and the need to determine the most effective and economic methods of their utilization stand out as some of the merits of the bill.
She reminded the Upper Red Chamber of several cases of Building collapses and failure of some infrastructural projects in the country in recent times which can be attributed to the use of substandard construction materials, poor architectural and geotechnical issues among others.
The lawmaker stressed that, in this time global events has caused nation’s to look inwards for sourcing of their needs and survival, it is necessary now that Nigeria begin to work towards self-reliance in critical building materials.
Senator Ekwunife was of the opinion that this can be achieved by incorporating local materials into building her infrastructures, saying when enacted, it will give the lnstitute legal impetus to confidently pursue it’s mandates towards addressing issues of infrastructural failures and decay in the country.
“Distinguished colleagues, this bill recognizes the importance of collaboration among relevant Project in poo implementing agencies in monitoring, assessment and effective utilization of research findings developed by the lnstitute for the construction sectors.
According to her, the function of the bill are “when enacted, it would among others enable the Institute to build capacity by carrying out research, the suitable or otherwise of materials for Buildings, roads and other constructions, the design and performance of functional units in building, including electrical installations, plumbing, painting and drainage ventilation system.
Others include “geotechnical issues including soil conditions and recommending appropriate solutions and the system and processes for the conversion of raw or semi-finished materials into engineering materials of various shapes, gauges, forms and performance” she stated.
The institute shall also “encourage and promote the commercialization or research and development as well as innovations in the construction Sector.
“Promote the practice of research and development and accordingly it shall, develop facilities and capacities through it’s centers for research and development in building, roads and engineering materials, chemical materials, scientific equipment, engineering manpower training” she noted.
Senator Ekwunife in conclusion maintained that the bill when passed will source base and a reference center for effective control and research in the construction industry in Nigeria.
She noted that the Bill would also address the issues of frequent building and construction collapses in the country.
The lawmaker opined that the bill when passed would not attract extra financial burden on the treasurer of the Federal Government as the lnstitute has been existing excellently since 1977.