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ARCON urges govt to embrace indigenous architecture research 

By Victor Gbonegun
06 September 2021   |   4:16 am
The Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has urged the federal and state governments to adopt indigenous research in the architectural profession as part of the post-COVID-19 recovery national plan.

Former president of Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON); Jimoh Faworaja (left), president of ARCON, Sir Oladipupo Ajayi, and registrar, Umar Murnai during a briefing in Lagos recently.<br />

The Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has urged the federal and state governments to adopt indigenous research in the architectural profession as part of the post-COVID-19 recovery national plan.
This, the agency said, would culminate in building local capacity in the built environment for the new normal.

The President of ARCON, Sir Dipo Ajayi who made the call in Lagos, also charged the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to partner with the architecture profession in areas of design for the well-being of society by drawing up a specific framework and recovery plans for communities, focus groups, economic sectors and the teeming youths.
The last council of ARCON having completed its tenure on June 12th had been dissolved while the management led by Ajayi is presently in place to run the affairs, pending the inauguration of a new council by the minister of works and housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola.    

Ajayi said these recommendations were made from this year’s Architects colloquium, which harped on the need for governments to include safety and security standards in the building code as part of the new normal and national security matters respectively, adding that all tiers of government should establish a safer communities commission to address divergent insecurity issues in communities as an integral part to rural planning, rural housing and economic recovery.
He said: “Professions in the built environment should improve the standard of education of students, practitioners and the general public in securing the environment as responsive persons.”

“We should equip architects at their varying stages of registration with suitable knowledge on animation, how to bring unique designs to sustainable development in Nigeria, embrace the business value of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in our architectural practices to fix construction woes, adapt to a more automated future through digital up-skilling, empower building projects through the deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in construction, build faster and cheaper through the application of 3D-technology and champion the cause of greener, smarter and intelligent future cities in Nigeria.”
The ARCON boss who lamented the low quality of architectural services in Nigeria compared to other countries said the body had approved the constitution of an interim board to harness and harmonise most of its training events organised by various architectural bodies and associations that could be of benefit for architects and the built environment, for inclusion in ARCON’s continuous development programme.
He disclosed that architectural professionals and academia need to integrate a broad-based curriculum into the schools of architecture, stressing that this should be expanded to respond to the urgent needs of tackling post-COVID-19 built environment issues and probable future pandemics.

“The council requires that universities and polytechnics graduating students in architecture ensure that their programs are duly accredited by ARCON. This cannot be taken for granted, as there is no place for graduates of unaccredited programmes within the profession to practice. The Council will not hesitate to wield the big stick within the ambit of the law on such institutions going forward”, Ajayi added.

Ajayi disclosed that the council is improving the capacity of members by combining the old way of handling things with technology to produce internationally competent architects. He said the current council was able to start a multi-million-naira project that will be known as ARCON House in Abuja, adding that the council’s Lagos office is also under massive renovation.
Also speaking, the registrar of ARCON, Umar Murnai said 80 per cent of universities offering architectures were fully accredited by the council. He said the council created more awareness on what ARCON stands for, registered more architectural firms, introduced masterclasses to build the capacity of architects, and accredited more polytechnics.
Murnai further said the council has registered over 1,000 architects to increase capacity in architecture.