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Architects call for FG’s audit of regulatory agencies


Tonye Oliver Braide

Piqued by the frequency of building collapse in the country, the President of Nigerian Institute of Architects, (NIA), Tonye Briade has called for an audit on the activities of regulatory agencies in the built environment, especially on their relevance to national development.

Braide spoke at the third Distinguished Architect’s lecture delivered by one of Nigeria’s distinguished architects, Olufemi Majekodunmi at Green Legacy, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta.

He lamented the frequency of building collapse in Nigeria, saying each building that crumbles to the ground is therefore a statement of failure on the regulating agencies and such may raise questions on their relevance.

According to him, if Nigeria is aspiring to be one of the leading 20 nations in architecture, we must rise to collectively stop the spate of building collapse in Nigeria. “The buildings are coming down at an average rate of one per month with great fatalities. This is totally unacceptable for a country repositioning towards becoming relevant in global affairs in the industry. It means that something is critically wrong with the structure of building construction administration”, he said.

Extolling the role of architecture in construction technology, Braide said architects are not taking the blame for the crumbling buildings in our cities away from design failures, but building collapse is also due to poor governance structures in the construction process than architectural design failure alone.

His words: “ So we may ask who has charge to establish and enforce good governance in the construction process. When a person presents himself for a job he cannot do, it is corruption and Nigeria has the mechanism to fight and contain corruption.

“This when extended to the regulatory process in the construction industry will create a pathway to stop the continuing collapse of buildings and make our Country Great Again Architecturally”, he noted.

He thanked Obasanjo for leaving a legacy for future generations and even onto eternity and pleaded that NIA make a little contribution within the complex where all students of architecture before finishing six years of studies must make a pilgrimage to understand the core of civic and moral education, good governance, discipline and decorum.

“We must all understand the full import of the exemplary leadership you gave to our country which will enable us, become good corporate citizens. Nigeria still has room for five additional Presidential Libraries, which should create work for us all as architects”, he added.

Braide also extolled the guest lecturer, Majekodunmi  for distinguishing himself in the area of architecture , saying he served the profession magnificently, having been a president of our Institute and rising to the Presidency of The International Union of Architects

On the lecture, titled: “Architecture as the cradle of civilization, Braide said although civilisation existed along with the architecture of the people, “we have left our manufacturing capacity to lag behind emerging civilizations, while our architecture now propels the economies of other nations.”

Majekodunmi said the cradle of humanity reside as in Africa, saying African architects should make sure that the Whites copy from them and not the other way around.

Citing the case of Eredo monument in Ijebu discovered by Patrick Darling in 1999 and described as the largest city in the ancient world, he said that such monument which measured a towering 70 feet, signifies that Africa is the birth place of human existence and original people and parents of all humanity.

He also disclosed plans to build a centre for the training of artisans in Abeokuta to address inadequate skill in built environment.

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