By Kingsley Adegboye
The Architects’ Registration Council of Nigeria ARCON, has called all registered architects in the country to keep faith with the established professional ethics and standards. The call was made at the just-concluded induction ceremony of 216 newly registered architects, held last week in Abuja, by ARCON President, Aliyu Umaru, an architect.
Also, it was revealed during the induction ceremony that the number of architectural firms in Nigeria had increased, as 16 firms were registered and licensed to practise, just as six persons were considered qualified and consequently registered to practise as architectural technologists.
Umaru, who urged the new entrants to lift the standard of the architecture profession, pledged that the body would continue to work to increase the number of registered architects in Nigeria, pointing out that this is one certain way of combating and curbing activities of quacks within the built environment, a trend that has contributed to the frequent cases of collapsed buildings in the country.
Aliyu revealed that by the new registration, the country now has about 5,000 registered architects, stating, however, that the Council has introduced the ARCON Projects Registration Number, APRN, system which provides the opportunity to raise the quality of building approvals and then control quackery in the building profession.
Also speaking, the Registrar of ARCON, Saulawa Murnai, an architect, expressed happiness that with the approval by the National Universities Commission, NUC, for the upgrading of departments of architecture to full faculties, more architects would be trained in the country.
Murnai added that with more architects being admitted and trained in Nigerian universities, there would be a check on number of quacks, as well as reduction in the cases of building collapse.
He stressed that the APRN system was aimed at ensuring that only fully registered architects take design responsibility for all architectural projects/drawings accordingly, before submission for town planning/implementation approvals.
According to him, APRN is an important tool for Nigerian architects to protect their profession.
“We came up with APRN because we discovered that our tools have been compromised and I thank God that the new initiative is already working in Abuja. We have contacted other states too, and we are hopeful that very soon, APRN will be all over Nigeria,” Murnai said.
Apart from protecting architecture, Murnai said that APRN is also to raise architectural practice in terms of quality of work done by architects in Nigeria.
In his lecture, Ladi Lewis, an architect and former chairman, Nigerian Institute of Architects, Lagos State chapter, tasked the newly registered architects not to misuse the trust bestowed on them.
He warned that any infraction will attract severe punishment as prescribed by the Act establishing the profession. “One of the principles of the code of conduct is the professional ethics. You need to understand the moral code and that also includes having a broad and clear knowledge of the Nigerian constitution. Please, study the code of our conduct; carry it about because you may be in breach of it.
“Please, do not misuse the trust your clients place on you. Do not affix your seal on drawings not done and approved by you.
Note that any of these breaches can bring you before the Architects Investigative Panel AIP, and if found guilty, you will be severely disciplined,” Lewis warned.