SCHOOL OF GENERAL STUDIES, DELTA STATE POLYTECHNIC OGWASHI UKU, DELTA STATE
Correspondence Email: jjessah@yahoo . com
Newspaper reports, as well as reports of other electronic media, show frequent occurrences of building collapse in Nigeria which are so rampant that they have become a cause for concern to all stakeholders in the building industry and the average Nigerian as well. This paper examines what constitutes defective building, the different types of defect known to law, some of the factors responsible for defects in buildings such as corruption, illegal conversion, failure or refusal to adhere to regulations e.t.c., the basis of liability in defective buildings, and the category of persons who could sue for injuries sustained from defective buildings. A brief comparison is drawn between what is obtainable in Nigeria and other Common Law jurisdictions like Singapore, United Kingdom and Australia and the paper arrives at the conclusion that Nigerian law is very inadequate in matters pertaining to the regulation of the construction industry with only Lagos State taking proactive steps by enacting a law penalizing those found to be responsible for erecting defective buildings. One of the recommendations put forward is that other states in Nigeria should take their cue from the Lagos State and enact laws penalizing the construction of defective buildings and all construction sites should have registered and duly certified building professionals like architects, engineers and builders.
Keywords: Defect, Building, Patent and Latent, Liability, Regulation.