ARCHITECTS CONDEMN PREFERENCE FOR FOREIGN BUILDING EXPERTS

Filed in Real Estate by on December 26, 2011

Architects condemn preference for foreign building experts
Written by Akinpelu Dada

A residential estate in Abuja

The Nigerian Institute of Architects has condemned the preference by government and corporate organisations for foreign professionals to handle building design and construction projects to the exclusion of their indigenous counterparts.

This, the institute said, had shown insufficient recognition of the competence and capacity of the Nigerian registered architect, and inappropriately showing undue preference for foreign practitioners, contrary to mandatory provisions in the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria Act.

The institute, which made its position known in a communiqué issued at the end of its 51st Biennial General Meeting and Conference held in Abuja last month, said the NIA and ARCON must strive to attain total nationwide compliance with the provisions of the Act to engender national security, economic growth, capacity development, transparency, national pride, job creation and sustainability of the profession.

It said in the communiqué made available to our correspondent on Friday and which was signed by the Honorary General Secretary, NIA, Mr. Abdullahi Abubakar “It is in view of the foregoing that we invite you to identify with this noble initiative of the general assembly by complying with the existing laws of the country on procurement of architectural consultancy services as provided for in the ARCON Act.

“This way, you will be acting in agreement with the transformation agenda of the Federal Government towards the improvement of the quality of delivery of building construction in the country and a positive effect on the welfare of the millions of Nigerians, who are participants in this highly dynamic economic sector.”

Members present at the conference said they recognised the global issues of sustainability, eco-architecture/green buildings and various rating systems and their relevance to the country, but maintained that they must undergo innovative adaptation and application for overall socio-economic transformation and cultural rejuvenation.

The communiqué stated, “Nigerian architects will continue to strive to attain heightened standards of professionalism that results from the pursuit of continuous manpower development, enhancement of standards of project documentation and institutionalisation of architectural design competitions as a mode of procurement for enhancing quality and ensuring transparency.

“Nigerian architects will continue to promote functional basic and professional education founded on continuous and appropriate research, development and application of materials, technologies and processes to create a sustainable built environment.”

It added that members of the institute would continue to support the development and processing of local materials to complement contemporary design goals through constant integration of practice, education and research knowledge.

It was resolved that the institute should facilitate cooperation among professionals, institutions, agencies and other stakeholders with a view to eliminating the practice of architecture by non-professionals and the use of fake or substandard products that usually lead to building failures and collapse, and attendant loss of lives.

The AGM/conference had as its theme, “Shaping the Future of Architecture in Nigeria,” and featured over 800 members in attendance.

At the end of the AGM, Mr. Ibrahim Haruna was elected the 24th president of the institute alongside Mr. Waheed Brimmo (1st vice-president); Mr. Tonye Braide (2nd vice-president); Mr. Adibe Njoku (3rd vice-president); Mr. Abdullahi Abubakar (honorary general secretary); and Mr. E. I. Omokanye (national treasurer).

Other elected council members were Mr. Ibrahim Khalil (chairman, admissions committee); S. T. Echono (chairman, disciplinary committee); Mrs. Ramatu Aliyu (chairman, international affairs); Mr. Ibrahim Shuaibu (chairman, library and publications Committee); Mr. Chibuzo Ogike (chairman, practice committee); Mrs. Bisi Olumide (chairman, public relations committee); M. E. Omatsone (chairman, student affairs committee); Mr. Abubakar Salisu (ex-officio); and L. E. Madu (ex-officio).

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