By Kingsley Adegboye
Architects’ Registration Council of Nigeria, ARCON, and the Bells University of Technology, BUT, Otta, Ogun State, are in a deal towards boosting the study of architecture at the university.
This was disclosed last week when ARCON visited the first university of technology in Nigeria, led by ARCON President, Sir Dipo Ajayi.
Professor Jeremiah Ojediran, the Vice-Chancellor of the university and other principal officers as well as senior management staff of BUT, received ARCON delegation.
In an interactive session with the Vice-Chancellor, Ajayi, who reiterated the primary functions of ARCON, he said the council decided to visit the citadel of learning with a view to adding value to the university, as well as to boost the morale of both the lecturers and students of architecture in the university.
“The Council derives the power to register and control the practice of architecture in Nigeria, and it maintains a register of architects and architectural firms in line with the enabling Act.”
Ajayi, who commended the university for its leadership role, urged them to work towards having a Faculty of Architecture, adding that his Council had approved additional 15 programmes.
According to him, ARCON came up with these programmes in fulfilment of its mandate of enhancing the practice of architecture as well as preparing students of architecture to be employable after their study.
He said the introduction of those programmes, if adopted in Nigerian universities and polytechnics, will drastically address the challenge of capital flight plaguing many disciplines.
These programmes, Ajayi added, will also boost entrepreneurship spirit among Nigerian students.
ARCON President also told the Vice-Chancellor of its Council’s readiness to partner with the university in the area of scholarship offers and exchange programmes, saying some countries are now in partnership with the Council on these.
“It will interest you to know that we just got some scholarship slots, but they are already given out to some universities that showed interest.
“If Bells University is interested, we can work that out in subsequent opportunities,” Ajayi added.
ARCON boss, who acknowledged the stride by the Department of Architecture in the university, charged it to brace up by introducing practical courses that can make their products stand out among the crowd.
“Let us put in place practical courses such that your products will be employable and will stand out among others.”
He urged members of staff of the Architecture Department to make themselves more relevant to the university environment, adding that, architects are influential leaders.
While interacting with the students, Ajayi, who inspected some of the designs done by the students, charged them to think outside the box and imbibe entrepreneurial spirit.
He added that they should learn how their clients could freely release their wallets to them.
In his response, Ojerinde, who noted that ARCON was very important to the university, being a school of technology, said that, architecture was one of their prime courses.
He assured the Council that the university would look into all the proposals and see how it can effectively collaborate with ARCON.
Ojerinde said: “We shall hit the ground running and we would as much as possible press the right buttons as far as collaboration with your council is concerned.
“And with the list of programmes you have given to us, we would look into them and possibly strive to be the first university to implement the noble initiative.
“I can assure you that the Dean and other members of staff of the faculty will look into this.”
Emeritus Professor James Ighalo, Dean, College of Environmental Sciences, BUT, pleaded with ARCON to assist the university in anyway it can, saying Bells was open to innovation and gestures that will boost the quality of the school, its members of staff and students.