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ARCON tasks architects on professional ethics

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President, ARCON, Umaru Aliyu in handshake with the best overall and newly registered architect, Uchenna Ekweme during an induction ceremony of newly registered architects and others last week in Abuja

Worried by the spate of quacks in the construction sector, especially in architecture, the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has called on all registered members to keep fate with the established professional ethics and standards.

This was the highpoint of the induction ceremony of 216 newly registered architects, held last week in Abuja. Also, the number of architectural firms in Nigeria has increased, as 16 firms were registered and licensed to practice.

Similarly, six persons were considered qualified and consequently registered to practice as architectural technologists.

At the induction ceremony, ARCON’s president, Aliyu Umaru, who urged the new entrants to lift the standard of architecture profession, pledged that the body would continue to work to increase the number registered architects in Nigeria.
Aliyu said that was one certain way of combating and curbing activities of quacks within the built environment, a trend, he said has contributed to the frequent cases of collapse buildings in the country.

Aliyu revealed that by the new registration, the country now has about 5,000 registered architects. The ARCON president however, stated that the council has introduced the ARCON Projects Registration Number (APRN) system, which provides the opportunity to raise the quality of building approvals and then
control quackery in the building profession.

Also speaking, the registrar of ARCON, Saulawa Murnai, expressed happiness that with the approval by the National Universities Commission (NUC) for the upgrading of departments of architecture to full faculties, more architects would be trained in
the country.

Murnai added that with more architects being admitted and trained in Nigerian universities, there would be a check on number of quacks, as well as reduction in the cases of collapse buildings.

He stressed that the APRN system was aimed at ensuring that only fully registered architects take design responsibility for all architectural projects/drawings accordingly, before submission for town planning/implementation approvals.

According to him, APRN is an important tool for Nigerian architects to protect their profession. “We came up with APRN because we discovered that our tools have been compromised and I thank God that the new initiative is already working in Abuja. We have contacted other states too, and we are hopeful that, very soon, APRN will be all over Nigeria.”

Apart from protecting architecture, Murnai said, APRN is also to raise architectural practice in terms of quality of work done by architects in Nigeria.

In his lecture, former chairman, Nigerian Institute of Architects, Lagos State Chapter, Ladi Lewis tasked the newly registered not to misuse the trust endowed on them to either the professional body or the general public.

He warned that any infraction is tantamount to severe punishment as prescribed by the Act establishing the profession. “One of the principles of the code of conduct is the professional ethics. You need to understand the moral code and that also includes having a broad and clear knowledge of Nigeria constitution. Please, study the code of our conduct; carry it about because you may be in breach of it.”

He added: “Do not misuse the trust your clients place on you. Do not affix your seal on drawings not done and approved by you. Note that any of these breaches can bring you before the Architects Investigative Panel (AIP) and if found guilty, you will be severely disciplined.

Lewis warned the new members not to bend the rules of contract under any circumstance, as doing so is capable of incurring the wrath of the regulatory body, if found guilty.


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