Institute resolves to bring down cost of construction

THE President of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Sonny Echono, has said that the institute, under his watch, will work with relevant stakeholders to bring down the cost of construction in the country.

He spoke while giving his inaugural speech in Abuja, soon after his inauguration as the 28th president of NIA alongside other executive council members.

Echono, who doubles as the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, said the institute would reconnect with all stakeholders, reform and rebrand the enterprise, redefine and aggressively promote the role of the architect in the society, while making sustained efforts to bring down the cost of construction in the country.

He said: “This we can do by minimizing country risks, promoting greater efficiency in project management and eliminating loopholes and avenues for corruption.”

Speaking in the same vein, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, charged architects on the provision of sustainable housing solution in the country.

Mustapha, who was represented by the permanent secretary, General Services Office, Mr Olusegun Adekunle, said architects remain critical to the development of the country, especially in the efforts of government to bridge the deficit in the housing sector.

Acting Head of Civil Service of the Federation, on her part, pledged to partner the Nigerian Institute of Architects in the ongoing effort to provide affordable housing units to civil servants across the country.

Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who poured encomiums on Echono, said he had no doubt about his capacity to lead the reforms in NIA and expand opportunities for participation of its members in the nation’s economy.

Former Vice President, Namadi Sambo, expressed dismay over the recurrent incidence of collapsed building in Nigeria with attendant human and material losses, attributing the ugly trend to activities of quacks and unscrupulous contractors.

He also tasked Nigerian architects to address the dearth of good and quality artisans and tradesmen which had created a dependency on neighbouring countries against the backdrop of growing unemployment, especially among youths in the country.

Sambo spoke in his keynote address at the event that was attended by top government functionaries, captains of industries and creme de la creme of architects in Nigeria.

While giving recipe for tackling the incidence of building collapse in the country, the former vice president admonished Nigerians to cultivate the habit of optimally using the nation’s human capital especially the trained professionals in every sector.

He urged the new executive council of NIA to raise the bar of professional practice, promote innovation and entrepreneurship among  members and implement a continuous professional development programme for all categories of practitioners.

“I further challenge our architects to be at the forefront of developing home-grown products and solutions for our housing and building projects in partnership with our local building materials and component manufacturing industries,” he said.

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