By Tunde Opalana
To guard against incessant building collapses and attendant losses to lives and properties, the Nigerian Institute of Architects is set to sponsor a bill in the National Assembly to punish unprofessional conduct by practitioners in the built industry, Daily Times gathered.
National President of the institute, Arch. Sunny Echono made this disclosure on Thursday when the leadership of NIA paid a courtesy call on the Clerk to the National Assembly, Architect Olatunde Ojo Amos.
Acknowledging unquantifiable damages caused by unprofessional conducts and quackery within and around the built environment, he said it is high time to criminalise unprofessionalism in the sector.
He said a legislative caution is needed to ensure that only professionals with capacity, experience and the competence are allowed to provide services in the construction arena.
“We want increase liabilities for perpetrators and even building owners because of the responsibility they bear to the public”, he said adding that such should be extended to users of buildings.
He said collapse occur “due to poor workmanship or cutting of corners or using inappropriate building materials or even using quacks to engage in the building and construction of projects”.
Arch. Echonob also said the institute is going to give guidelines on how to designate monuments, buildings of historical values and other national assets in order to preserve them.
He said they will designate proper places for palaces, worship centres, traditional settings, to be able to promote them as historical sites.
“We want to also package them for recognition by UNESCO and other world bodies so that they cannot only act as reflections of our traditions but also offer tourist attraction for people to come and visit them.
“We want to restore them and make them living testament to our history. “We are also looking for various other forms of partnership with the National Assembly and with other branches of Government.
“We want to make it compulsory for our buildings to be responsive to all the users including those who are physically challenged.
“There are some building today that are not compliant, if one is on a wheel chair it takes two hours just to get into the premises.
“We want to make sure there is adequate provision for disable people in every building in this country.
“We want to make it a regular feature so that we carry out audit of our buildings knowing that there is a lift walking, what about the lighting, the installation, is it in functional condition?
He said they came to felicitate with the Ojo to heartily congratulate him for a well-deserved appointment and confirmation as the Clerk of the National Assembly.
“We are indeed very proud that this is an acknowledgement of the versatility of the training of the architects.
The Clerk expressed gratitude to members of the NIA for making out time in spite of their tight schedule in practice to visit him.
He said he owes the institute a very big appreciation because unless they want to deceive themselves whatever anyone of them have become, the institute has impacted directly or indirectly on them.
He said “anytime I remember who I am by training and practice as an architect now joining legislative proceedings I tell myself if I can be successful in architecture definitely I will do well in legislative procedure.”