By Bode Akinwumi

Adopting standards set by Architects Registration Council of Nigeria, ARCON, as prerequisites for building approvals will enhance the built environment in Nigeria.

Speaking while playing host to members of the Ondo State chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, NIA, in his office in Akure; the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, said the state would soon adopt the process of getting draughtsmen work on building designs for architects to approve, by embossing their seals on the designs upon certifying conformity with standards.

Governor Akeredolu further spoke on the intention of his administration to engage qualified Architects as Consultants that would continue to handle government projects.

“No government will give its job to people who are not qualifie. We will involve Architects in building approval processes. Monitoring is also important too, because if you have to approve, you must have the details before the final approval”, he said.

The governor commended the institute for the National Building Code it made available to the State  Government and assured that it would be passed to the Ministry of Justice for proper domestication.

Earlier, the Ondo State Chairman of the Institute, Architect Wale Adelowo had commended the governor on his unequivocal commitment to the execution of environment friendly development projects in the state.

The NIA Chairman noted that the Institute had identified critical areas that would advance good safe-built environment and practice of Architecture profession in the state.

He mentioned them to include; ARCON seal as a condition for building approval, involvement of Architects in building approval process, review of obsolete Ondo State building and sub-division regulation of 1984, domestication of the National Building Code in Ondo State and domestication of Public Procurement Act in Ondo State, among others.

Architect Adelowo observed that the current building permit and master plan approval regulations being used in cities as Urban Development Schemes in Ondo State were anachronistic and does not conform with contemporary standards.

“To ensure a good quality built environment and prevent building collapse in Ondo State, all building plans must be duly stamped, sealed and signed by registered Architects before it qualifies for government approval and permit as stipulated by the National Building Code, NBC, and Architects Registration Council of Nigeria ,ARCON, Act.

“The acceptance of draughtsmen stamps on architectural drawings as being practiced in Ondo State is against the provisions in the ARCON Act and contrary to practices in the neighbouring states”, he said.

He, however suggested that, for government to achieve a successful urban renewal programme, the enabling laws should be upgraded, while the plan approval office and enforcement unit should be strengthened with relevant staff, tools and other logistics.

Dignitaries present at the visit include: the Deputy Governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi;  Secretary to the State Government, SSG; Hon Ifedayo Abegunde; Head of Service, Mr Toyin Akinkuotu; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Olugbenga Ale;  Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Engr Tayo Adeniyi and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Mr Alaba Adeyemi,mni.

Others are: Vice Chairman of the Institute, Arch. Taiwo Abraham; Arch. Ibukun Adeyemi;  Arch. Ayo Bello; Arch. Seyi Awosika; Arch. Abimbola Omolola and the Institute’s Public Relations Officer, PRO, Arch. Omotola.