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Architects urge states to adopt new ARCON’s project registration system

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam
23 September 2019   |   3:30 am
Towards checking the incidence of building collapse, the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has called on all state governments to adopt Architects Project Registration Number (APRN) initiative.

Lagos State Emergency Management Authority’s (LASEMA) General Manager, Dr. Oluwafemi Oke-Osanyitolu (centre)and other stakeholders’ during a meeting on the issues of collapse building in Lagos state.

Towards checking the incidence of building collapse, the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has called on all state governments to adopt Architects Project Registration Number (APRN) initiative.

The council made the call recently in Lagos during State’s Emergency Management Authority’s (LASEMA) stakeholders’ meeting on issues around collapse building and how to checkmate the menace. The ARCON’s APRN initiative gained ground at the forum. 

Dr. Oluwafemi Oke-Osanyitolu, LASEMA’s General Manager, who chaired the meeting, said although, the menace was a challenge nation-wide, Lagos government was poised to putting an end to the challenge; hence, the Authority had rallied stakeholders, particularly, within the building industry to the parley.

Participants at the event were drawn from Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), ARCON, Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Ministry of Local Govt and Chieftaincy Affairs, Ministry of Justice among others.

ARCON President, Sir. Dipo Ajayi seized the opportunity to urge all state governments to adopt its APRN initiative, which among others was introduced to checkmate collapse building.

Ajayi, who led the team consisting of the Registrar, Umar Murnai and Kayode Anibaba, said government’s lack of will power had encouraged slums and compounded environmental challenges.

He cited Ita Faji as an example of the government’s inability to enforce appropriate laws.

“When it comes to building collapse, the government is guilty by 80 per cent. If you go to Ifa Faji and the environ, some of the buildings there were made with brick and mortar; people still lease and build on those houses, some of which are as old as 100 years,” he said

According to Murnai, APRN is a system, which is a mandatory registration number to be issued to all architects practicing in Nigeria, for each of their projects.

The Registrar added that, , incidences of building collapse in Nigeria, “clearly shows that developers and various institutions, hire unregistered persons posing as architects/consultants (quacks) and foreigners to carry out projects in Nigeria, thereby subjecting the unsuspecting public to great risk, that ultimately results in loss of life and property.”

He said, “while the APRN is intended to combat the scourge of building failure and collapse through the elimination of quackery, it is also to ensure that only fully registered and financially current architects/architectural firms prepare, produce and submit designs for planning/implementation approval and receive such approvals when they are given.

“Architects and architectural firms who are registered with the council are to submit architectural building plans for approval/implementation and are responsible for the supervision of their designs.

He added that APRN serves as a layer of quality assurance regarding the quality of the built environment.

Also, the Registrar said that APRN would lead to a total elimination of quacks, noting that, the initiative is operational in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Other benefits of the initiative, according to Murnai include ensuring that foreign architects work in proper partnerships under Nigerian architects and ensuring copyright protection of the architect’s work and eliminate plagiarism.

It would also enable the compilation of statistical data on the Nigerian building industry for national planning, entrench high standards of professional practice to enhance our global competitiveness
and ensure that architects are also responsible for the supervision of their designs.

BCPG President, Mr Akinola George, revealed that 36,000 potential collapses were waiting to happen in Lagos alone. He said this was because many of the buildings in Lagos State were old and not constructed by the people who are properly trained to do so.

The BCPG Lagos Chapter Chairman, Adeyinka Ogunseye, who was present at the meeting, said the government should urgently address the problem of distressed buildings.