It is evident that in life, shelter remains the second basic necessity of human needs after food, and as such, many individuals act desperately to have their own personal dwelling. Therefore, the need to erect solid and functional building to avoid unexpected collapse is very essential.

Building Collapse occur as a result of the following factors, factors such as; Poor workmanship, bad design, use of sub-standard building materials, foundation failure, faulty construction, extra-ordinary loads, among other factors such as negligence, design flaws, ageing, material fatigue, extreme operational and environmental conditions, accidents, terrorist attacks and natural hazards.

Therefore, there is need to eradicate building collapse in Nigeria, most especially, the study area which is Lagos-Island as it is believed to have the highest number incidents of building collapse and require immediate attention.

In view of the aforementioned therefore, this research work shall look into the problems that result into collapse of building in Nigeria whether design or construction or other related problems. However, having identified the problems of building collapse in the country with special focus on Lagos-Island, possible solution were thereafter proffered to solving the identified problems











The frequency of collapse of building structures on Nigeria in the past few years and recently had become very alarming and worrisome. Many lives and properties have been lost in the collapse of buildings mostly in Port Harcourt, Abuja and Lagos respectively. Many property owners have developed high blood pressure and some have been sent to an early grave. A visit to the collapsed scenes were as revealing as they were pathetic and one could not but wonder why such contraption could have been allowed to stand or to what extent people can go to cut corners at the expense of respect for safety and respect for lives.

Unfortunately, there are still a number of buildings of similar circumstances dotting the skyline of many cities in Nigeria. That building collapse incidence are still regularly occurring despite increasing diffusion of engineering knowledge over the years calls for some re-examination of development in building production and control process (Dimuna, 2010).

Development and construction of property is very necessary to every individual in life, as such, many individuals involve themselves in construction of property for either personal uses or for investment purposes. In Lagos State, every investor will like to acquire a property due to the rapid economic development and nature of investment, while some are of prestige. No investor or property owner will be happy to see his/her building collapse. Therefore, the need to follow the required due process before embarking on development of property is important.

Building collapse is becoming a serious problem in Nigeria in general and Lagos in particular as it has a lot of effect on the economy especially the development industry. Many investors today has failed due to their ways of developing property and thus lead to waste of many lives and properties worth millions or billions of naira in some cases. Building collapse does occur as a result of greed, incompetence and corruption on the part of the contractors and developers in building industry. The regulating authorities and concerned professional bodies need collaboration to ensure adherence to building regulations in Lagos State (Chika, 2008).

Research was carried out by (Bamidele, 2000) and (Fadamiro, 2002) on the causes of building collapse in Nigeria and identified the following five (5) major causes viz; natural phenomenon, design error, procedural error, sub-standard material, poor workmanship, the lack of maintenance, the abuse of use of building etc. Research showed that the substandard material and poor workmanship contribute 45% to the overall causes of building collapse in Lagos State. (Ogunsemi, 2002) added that substandard materials amount to 18.4% of the total cause of building collapse while poor workmanship amount to 19%. Building collapse can be as a result of some defect in building which are not quickly put in place by the property owner such as;

  1. Fungus stain and harmful growth
  2. Erosion of mortar joints
  3. Peeling paint
  4. Defective plastered renderings
  5. Cracking of walls and tearing walls
  6. Defective rainwater goods
  7. Decayed floor boards
  8. Insect or termite attack
  9. Roof defect
  10. Dampness penetration through walls
  11. Unstable foundation
  12. Poor installation of air-condition units etc

All these defects in building if not properly controlled ad maintained, with time can lead to unexpected building collapse (Gafar, 2004). Building collapse have been a serious problem and concern to the government and professionals in building industry as they have been making efforts in their own ways to reduce this incessant collapse if n not totally stopped.

Therefore, this research work shows in full details the various causes of building collapse, trends of casualties of building collapse in Lagos and other states as well as its effect on the economy and individuals, efforts of the government and professionals in building industry in ameliorating building collapse in Lagos, the historic data of past incidence of building collapse, as the view of various authors on building collapse shall be discussed.


The main purpose of any research work is to identify a particular problem(s) and give recommendation on how the problem will be solved or reduced. In the building industry today especially in Lagos, building collapse has been one of the major problem faced by both the private and public developer, whether for personal use and for investment purposes.

Lagos is a city where building collapse occur frequently and has the highest number of building collapse incidents that claimed about 64 lives between 1982-1996 (Dimuna, 2010). In the past thirty seven (37) years (1974-2010), Lagos State has recorded quite a number of cases of building collapse in areas like Ebute-Metta, Lagos-Island, Mushin, Oshodi, Maryland, Ojuelegba, Ikeja, Agege, Idumota, Ketu, Central Lagos, Surulere, etc as well as Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano that also has the high number of building collapse cases.

This has posed a very serious challenge to those in the building industry, the government and the individuals who are into property development in the country and in Lagos State. The worrisome development and incidents throw the question that what might be the cause / causes of building collapse in the state? Several factors have been associated with this, some of which are negligence, greed, deficient foundations, inadequate steel reinforcement, hasty construction, no soil test, poor supervision and non-adherence to the building codes (Ede, 2010).

As part of the problem of building collapse, some of the construction i.e. owners of building under construction derail from their approved plans relying more on imagination and fantasy. Secondly, the approving authorities are also known to fail to monitor compliance with approved plans. Thirdly, some building owners shun professionals in order to cut costs. Fourthly, the high cost of building materials has led greedy contractors with eyes on profit, to patronise substandard materials. These shortcut measures have contributed immensely to the occurrence of failed buildings in the country (Adeniya, 2002). Before independence, building erected in Nigeria were in compliance with the global standards, but surprisingly from oil boom of 1970 till now, all manner of illicit activities that unwholesome professional practices have crept in Nigeria system, all they want is just the job done caring little or nothing about professionalism.

All the aforementioned problems and question is when will developers in Nigeria begin to follow the appropriate channel before embarking on development, and when will the building regulation be standardize by government for every development can take place, if all these are put in order, the problems of building collapse would be reduced to the barest minimum.


The aim of this research work is to examine the problems associated with building collapse in Lagos with special focus on Lagos Island as case study. In order to achieve this aim, the following objectives are pursued;

  1. To identify the causes and effects of building collapse on Lagos
  2. To examine the problems associated with building collapse in the study area
  3. To trace the past incidence of building collapse in Lagos and Nigeria at large
  4. To examine the efforts of government, professionals and all other stakeholders in eradicating building collapse in Nigeria
  5. To proffer suitable solution to the problems associated with building collapse in the study area


Based on the problems stated, the following are the questions for the study which will serve as guide as the study is meant to solve the problem stated above.

  1. What are the causes of building collapse?
  2. Does design/construction problem leads to building collapse?
  3. Does building collapse have any effect on the economy or property investment?
  4. What are the problems of building collapse?
  5. What are the major problems of the past building collapse in Lagos?
  6. How frequent does building collapse in Lagos?
  7. Has government and professionals made any effort to curb the collapse of building in Nigeria?
  8. Does the developers have their own faults in collapse of building?


Hypothesis is a tentative answer to a research problem. It is a proposition which can be put to test in order to determine its validity, also hypothesis is very brief, clear definite statement which are empirically verifiable, it may be positive (H1) or negative (H0).

Therefore, the hypotheses for this research study is stated as follows;

  1. H0 Building collapse does not have any effect and problems on the economy as well as property investment

H1 Building collapse has effect and problems on the economy as well as property investment

  1. H0 Government and professionals have made efforts to eradicate building collapse in Lagos State

H1 Government and professionals have made no efforts to eradicate building collapse in Lagos State


Every good research work must have an element of importance to some particular set of people, so as to make the purpose of the research work meaningful. Therefore, this research work is of great importance to the following group of people;

The developers will benefit from this research work as it will show their past mistakes that have led to collapse of buildings and how to improve on it, also it will enable them to know and identify the various causes of building collapse, the defect, effect and problems of building collapse and how it can be solved, they will also have an understanding on the importance of following the building code and the professionals that are involve in property development, so as to give their job to the right ones.

The building professionals will be able to improve on their lapses by giving the builder the orientation on the types of material to be use for construction and stop the use of sub-standard materials, that will eventually lead to building collapse, also they will improve their efforts to site supervision so as to know the quacks on site and the types and quality of materials that are used on sites. The government will definitely benefit greatly from this research if recommendations given thereafter is put in place, in terms of regulating the cost of materials both local and international and implement their rule and laws guiding constructing industry. Also, researchers and students writing on related topics or field of works can use this as their reference.

Finally, the tenants and individuals planning to embark on building construction will be able to know the sub-standard building materials if they go through this research work. They shall be able to identify building with defect and avoid such building for living in order not to waste their lives and property. Therefore, this research work is of great importance to the society as a whole.


This study will focus on the examination of the problems associated with building collapse in Lagos. Hence, the scope is therefore narrowed to Lagos-Island due to the record of building collapse in the area. As the study will focus on building collapse problems caused by design, construction, other causes, as well as its effect on property investment. Research questions will be administered through questionnaires to the professional team in the building industry, government parastatals and the real estate developers in with a view to examining its effects in Lagos-Island area of Lagos State.


Below are the terms used in the course of the research work, they are defines as follows;


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