Architects with the Higher National Diploma (HND) background in the country have cried out over the alleged continuous marginalisation and professional relegation by the Architect Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON).
The aggrieved architects who dragged the professional body to court for giving recognition only to their counterparts with university background prayed before the court that they should also be given formal recognition.
At the court proceeding, which took place before Justice Audu Dogo at the Federal High Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, in a Suit No. FHC/AIC/CS/71/18, the counsel to the aggrieved architects, Henry Nnabugwu told the court that the defendant, ARCON had on two occasions been served with writ of summon which they have refused to honour.
The counsel subsequently prayed that “an order be given mandating the defendants to allow the plaintiff and all HND graduates of Architecture from accredited Polytechnics to be considered for registration and licensing as Architects via Final I, Finals II & PPE Professional Practice Examination or Architects Competence Programme (ACP) Examination.
“An order compelling the Defendant to allow the plaintiffs and all HND graduates of Architecture from accredited Polytechnics who have in addition to their HND, Postgraduate Diplomas and Master Degrees in Architecture, to sit for the Architects Competence Programme (ACP) Examination or Professional Practice Examination (PPE).
Following the absence of the defendant in court for the third time, the judge subsequently adjourned sitting to the 14th January, 2018 when the hearing is expected commence.
Expressing dismay over the aged long non recognition of their HND status, one of the aggrieved architects, Abimbola Adeleye explained that since her graduation from the Polytechnic 18 years ago, she has not been able move past her current status, as the marginalization has impeded her career professionally.
“I left the polytechnic 18 years ago, up till this moment, ARCON has not deemed it necessary to recognize me professionally including my colleagues despite going through rigorous training at the polytechnic.
“Due to this I’ve on series of occasions lost promotion, right now most of us as static.
“It’s saddening that one’s professional colleagues will discriminate against us just because they attended the university.
“We’re resolute that we’ll get reprieve in court, enough of this injustice.
Also, Kunle Awogbami, one of the plaintiffs maintained that the quagmire if not resolve will dampen the morale of those aspiring to study the course in the polytechnic.
According to an undergraduate of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo David Olupona who was also in court described the development as heartbreaking which will have negative impact on the profession if not addressed.