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Architects urge synergy among professionals to curb building collapse


ASABA – Mr Emmanuel Dike, Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Rivers chapter, says professionals in the building industry must work in synergy to halt building collapse in the country.

“Professionals must come together to check quacks. We should not allow quacks to hijack the profession and continue their bad activities which ensure the trend of building collapse and loss of lives.”

Dike, who was a guest lecturer, gave the advice at the Second Seminar and Building Materials Exhibition of NIA, Delta State Branch, tagged “Arch-Delta Expo 2014” on Wednesday in Asaba.

The theme of the seminar is: Architecture and Sustainable Development: Delta State Agenda.

It is aimed drawing the attention of architects and other professionals in the building industry to challenges in the national development drive.

Dike said the architects were the “beginning and the end of any building structure” but that the situation was changing fast with “the draughtsman beginning to pose a threat to the profession.”

According to him, building collapse starts with the designs and it takes an architect to design an enduring, affordable and sustainable structure that will meet the demands of the changing world.

He held that architects were not alone in the business of sustainable development, adding that
the structural engineers and the town planners among others also have critical roles to play.

Dike challenged NIA to wake up to its responsibilities in order to protect the future of young architects in the country.

The “one-stop-shop” approval system in Rivers has helped the institute to regulate approval of building designs with the structural engineers and town planners making their contribution.

“Besides, this has also yielded over N600 million in 2013 for the Rivers Government as additional internally generated revenue and giving relevance to the profession”, Dike added.

On his part, Chairman of NIA in Delta, Mr John Arhor, explained that the exhibition was designed to promote the profession in the state and to enable members’ effect needed changes in the society.

He said architects needed to let the people know the difference between an architect and a draughtsman.

“Programmes like this will make the people know that there is someone called an architect.

“So, rather than patronise quacks, they will look for the architect who will do a design that will meet their needs.

“We talk about building collapse today because people often times consult the wrong people, but if you get the right professionals, use the right materials and the jobs are supervised by the right persons, you are sure to get the best” , Arhor said.

Mr More Edwin, Acting Permanent Secretary, Delta Ministry of Housing, said there was need for the professionals to actually come together to address issues relating to building collapse.

“It is now obvious that building collapse has continued because we, don’t pay attention to rules and regulations.

“Building designs should be handled by architects because they are properly trained for that but quacks have penetrated the profession today.

“So, many of these buildings around were not designed by architects but by draughtsmen and even engineers who are not well trained on designing.

Edwin called for inputs of all the professional bodies in building industry to curb building collapse, adding that control and monitoring of projects were vital. (NAN)

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