ARCON sees APRN initiative as panacea to building collapse

IN apparent response to a call by the Lagos State government, seeking solution to the menace of building collapse, and urging the public to submit memoranda in that respect,  the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON), has urged relevant authorities in the country to adopt its initiative known as “Projects’ Registration Number (APRN)” system.

To ARCON,  introduction of APRN, would  among other benefits, reduce the menace of building collapse in Nigeria.

President of the Council, Sir Dipo Ajayi, an architect, who said this to newsmen recently, was reacting to collapsed buildings in Lagos and other parts of the country.

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“Only two weeks ago, a four-floor building at Ita-Faaji area of Lagos Island,  that was being used as residential and school premises collapsed, with the unfortunate incident led to the death of some, including children, while several others were injured.

“ As if that was not enough, few days after another building in Ibadan, Oyo state, also collapsed”, lamented the ARCON boss.

Aayi, who was accompanied by messrs Kayode Anibaba, former Commissioner for Physical Planning and Environment in Lagos; Adebayo Dipe, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Housing; Mr. Ohioma Andy, Director, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing;  Ladi Lewis, former chairman, Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Lagos; and Tiwalola Fadeyibi (all architects), to the Ita-Faaji collapsed building site, said it was high time for all states to embrace its APRN initiative.

According to him, APRN System, which entails the process of numbering all architectural projects in Nigeria, will further tighten loose end in monitoring building projects across the country.

“We want to collaborate with state governments to ensure that APRN becomes operational in all the states in country.  And we have been creating awareness on this.”

Ajayi added that according to the process, all architectural projects/drawings are prepared only by fully registered architects, submitted to ARCON and assigned the ARCON Project Registration Number (APRN) before submission for planning/implementation approvals.

Ajayi, who commiserated with the families of the deceased and hoped that those directly involved in this despicable act would be brought to book, said that, while the APRN is intended to combat the scourge of building failure and collapse through the elimination of quackery, it will also 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.

According to him, 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.

Ajayi said that, this measure is to complement the old practice of submitting building with a copy of the architect’s current practice licence, the affixing of ARCON stamps, signed by the architect and sealed (with the architect’s ARCON seal) on each sheet of the drawings submitted for approval.

He revealed that building can collapse due to non-involvement of professionals and poor designs; over-perpetual loading, adding that development, hence, there must be re-engeering, rebuilding and re-planning of the entire Lagos Island space.

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