ARCON triggers discontent over HND holders’ registration
As architects suspend N500 million insurance scheme
A major disagreement is brewing again among members of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) and it’s regulatory body, Architects Registration Council Of Nigeria (ARCON) on the certification of Higher National Diploma (HND) holders.
Before now architects, who graduated with HND are registered after a mandatory eight years course while those with university degrees were allowed after two years course.However, ARCON suspended the registration last year over alleged letter by the National Universities Commission (NUC), leading to discontent among HND graduates.
Worst hit, were architects, who had already concluded the courses which included Final I, Finals II & PPE Professional Practice Examination or Architects Competence Programme (ACP) Examination and were waiting for their registration.
The Guardian learnt it is one of the burning issues affecting the national body which has been tabled for discussion in the Annual General Meeting slated for next week in Lagos. Sources said the disparity is causing a lot of ripples as members expect it should have been resolved before now,
According to the architect, who is a fellow of the institute, members are disgruntled because they do not know their stance since the issue came up towards the twilight of Tonye Braide -led executive. Another burning issue is the discontinuance of an insurance scheme initiated by the last administration to mitigate the sufferings of architects in Nigeria.
The package arranged with Axa Mansard insurance firm by the immediate past national executives is for life and disabilities coverage. It was however discontinued by the current administration under unexplainable circumstances.The Guardian gathered that the package worth about N500 million was secured by Tonye Braide led executive. It was designed to enable architects mitigate loss, financial stability and promotes their trades, the policy is expected to accelerate economic growth and development by empowering architects, many of whose are dying in their primes.
Sources told The Guardian that the scheme was dropped in bad faith. But NIA president, Fetus Njoku, said the idea was just mooted but did not sail through. According to him, it is something that worth doing but was not concluded. It is not in my programme, we have problems that are heavier than that.
On the HND graduate disparity, Njoku said it is something that could be resolved. According to the NIA president, HND graduates were being accommodated but suddenly they said NUC kicked against it. Njoku, however said he is yet to see the document from NUC.
“Even if they kicked against it we would see where we could adjust the programme to accommodate the HND graduates. It is an issue we can surmount. Some people said they will go to court but I said when we see the letter and find out the issue that NUC is against. I will see how we can make up the short fall. It is as simple as that.
“The process is that when you did HND, it takes eight years before you are registered but for the university graduates, it takes two years but there is no problem about it. “We will look at the details. I don’t have the details.
“It is something we can resolve. It started last year. It is ARCON, the registration body that said NUC queried the registration of HND graduates. As the president, I said could I see the letter? I have not seen it till now. So I cannot actually know how we can now reform the programme until I see the letter,” he added.