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Architects seek new technology to bridge housing gap



Following housing shortage in major cities, the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) has advocated for advanced construction technology to enable the body and other allied professionals curb the gap in housing deficit in the country.

The newly elected NIA President, Mr. Festus Njoku who made the submission at the 57th Annual General Assembly and Conference, which took place in Abuja recently, also called on the government to revitalized the ailing economy by providing primary infrastructure or create enabling environment for the private sector.

The week-long event was attended by the Minister of Labour and productivity, Dr Chris Ngige and Kaduna State governor Mallam Nasir Ahmad El Rufai has the theme “Affordable Housing: Rhetoric’s, Tectonic and Architecture”.

Njoku who said this year conference is aimed to champion the use of modular homes, urged Federal government, professionals in the construction industry, especially the architects to review housing policies to address the housing challenge.

He stated that housing is one of the three basic needs of man and most important for the physical survival after the provision of food, which has a profound influence on health, efficiency, social behaviour, satisfaction and general welfare of the nation.

The out-going president, Tonye Briade urged architects to deliver on their mandate by producing quality buildings.

He said that there is need for all architects in the country to revitalize economy and fight corruption through the reform of the building industry with needed package to increase GDP, employment generation, affordable housing and a mixture of building materials technology.

According to him, architects should focus the present economy challenges confronting the nation at present. “Affordable low cost Housing might prove to be lasting solution that the housing problem needs.

The phrase ‘affordable housing’ has often been difficult to achieve because the cost of building materials used in Nigeria that increased steadily over the years.

The General Secretary, Sani Sauluwa restated that the institute has adopted a major resolution, which include committed leadership, synergy between the professional bodies and deliberate policies on institutional training and capacity building in the building information modeling.

“Architects should utilized materials currently employed to make housing affordable for low- income earners, maximizing small space and choose the right construction materials, which are essential factors that must thoroughly considered in order to make housing affordable,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Lagos Chapter of NIA, Umar Fitzgerald has tasked the Federal government on early release and implementation of budgetary allocations in the 2018 budget.

Speaking at the sideline of the institute’s yearly end of the year party themed: Africa Nights: Representing Your Culture To The Fullest “, he said economy would have fared better, if the budget was released and implemented on good time.

At the event, which featured Museum tour, presentation of awards to institutions and students, who came tops at 2017 Lagos Architect Forum (LAF) competition also provided avenue for the celebration of 13 architects from the branch, who were recently elevated to the status of Fellow, Fitzgerald said architects achieved a lot of milestones in 2017 amidst the economic recession that stifled investments in the built industry.

He expressed optimism that the  2018 budget would be quickly released and implemented to consolidate the gains made so far.

“You know that once the budget is implemented and money is released, the economy  will fare better and that is what we are calling for next

While felicitating with the new fellow, Fitzgerald said the branch decided in the event called African night, to look at architecture and arts together by going back to the roots.

“We added exhibitions, museum tour for us to also know why Freedom Park is what it is today, not many architects know where Freedom Park is situated”, he said.

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