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May 29: Minister Tasks Developers On Completion Of On-going Housing Projects

As Nigerians count down to the May 29 handover to a new government, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development has urged developers to ensure completion of on-going housing projects

Stories: Edward Nnachi

In preparations for the May 29 handover date, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Dr (Mrs) Akon Eyakenyi has drawn the attention of the newly elected executive of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) to complete on-going projects on schedule.

Speaking during a courtesy visit by the association led by its President, Reverend Ugochukwu Chime at the weekend, Eyakenyi assured the developers that the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) as a government institution would continue to render relevant financial assistance to developers.

The minister advised REDAN members to ensure that stakeholders in the sector maintain quality in pursuit of affordable housing for Nigerians, adding that it would further curtail incidences of collapsed buildings in the nation.

She commended the transparent process that brought up the new executive and urged them to continue to maintain an open and all-inclusive administrative policy that will benefit stakeholders in the sector.

“If you have an open administration, you will succeed, the minister advised”. While commending the effort of the out-going administration and in particular President Jonathan’s genuine concern and support to the sector, she noted that government is a continuum, expressing hope that the in-coming administration will continue with the laudable programmes and projects in the sector.

However, she admonished that such financial assistance should be well utilized for the benefit of providing affordable and quality housing for Nigerians. REDAN President, Rev. Chime commended the Minister for the various strides recorded during her tenure, noting that she has commissioned more housing estates than any Minister who had ever served in the Ministry, attributing it to her inspirational and outstanding leadership qualities.

In a related development, Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has introduced a new initiative, Architect Project Registration Number (APRN) to sanitise the construction industry, calling on all governments and other stakeholders to support the initiative.

The measure, according to ARCON would be a major way forward towards stemming cases of corruption plaguing the construction industry in Nigeria.

Before now, the architects’ regulatory body had insisted that each sheet of architectural drawing must have ARCON security duly signed and sealed.

The drawing must also be accompanied by current practice license of the architect. But instead of reducing the lapses within the industry, it appears the measures are not enough, hence ARCON has further taken this step to tighten loose ends within the industry.

Speaking last week in Lagos during the Lagos Architects Forum 2015 – Lagos 6.0 “The Business of Architecture”, organised by the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Lagos State Chapter, ARCON president, Mr. Umaru Aliyu, said that without the newly introduced number, no architectural drawings in any part of the country could be adjudged legal.

He said: “The Council appreciates the untold hardship our members have been subjected to by the unwholesome attitude towards the practice of Architecture in Nigeria over the years.

It is in recognition of this that the Council introduced the use of the ARCON seal, complemented with the use of the security stamps to be affixed on every sheet of the drawings submitted for developmental control/implementation purposes.

“The Council has however gone ahead, of late, to introduce the Architect Project Registration Number (APRN), which is a number assigned by the Council to each architectural project in any part of the country to ensure that only fully registered architects submit architectural drawings for developmental control/implementation and receive approval from relevant approving authorities.

All submissions for development control/implementation must comply with the above.” He called on his colleagues to strive to do the right things, as the country would soon have change of government.

“We are cognizance of the fact that this is a new era for Nigeria and we must strive to do things right. We urge our members to continue to work with us in establishing the business of architecture in an appropriate manner, with best practices and internationally accepted modes and codes of operation. ”

Umaru warned foreign architects over incursion into the country without fully complying with relevant laws of the land and the UIA recommended International Standards of Professionalism that guide their practice.

According to him, “The UIA Policy further clearly states that Architects providing architectural series on a project in a country in which they are not registered shall collaborate with a local architect to ensure that proper and effective understanding is given to legal, environmental, social and heritage factors.

The conditions of the association should be determined by the parties alone in accordance with UIA ethical standards, local status and laws, adding that, foreign architects working in Nigeria must have the Nigerian architect as the lead consultant.

President, Nigerian Institute of Architects, Mr. Waheed Niyi Brimmo said he was extremely well pleased to attend the opening of a great event that has metamorphosed in its seventh cycle to a forum of “inestimable enlightenment, exchanges, expositions and exhibitions”.

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