Architects Council wants states to embrace APRN initiative to prevent building failures

The lack of political will by various state governments to implement the National Building Code and enforce other building regulations, coupled with the mutual suspicions and denials among building industry professionals whenever there is a building collapse incident have given birth to Architects Registration Council of Nigeria’s (ARCON) new APRN initiative to prevent building failures.

APRN is an acronym for ARCON Projects’ Registration Number which the council which regulates the architecture profession introduced into the building industry to, among other things, reduce building collapse incidents in Nigeria that have become a feature of the country’s built environment.

With this initiative, all architectural projects/drawings are prepared only by fully registered architects, submitted to ARCON and assigned APRN before submission for planning, implementation and approvals.

ARCON is, therefore, wooing all states in the country to adopt its initiative in order to reduce the menace of building collapse in Nigeria. “We want to collaborate with state governments to ensure that APRN becomes operational all over the country. And we have been creating awareness on this,” Dipo Ajayi, ARCON President, disclosed to newsmen in Lagos recently.

Ajayi spoke in his reaction to building collapse incidents in Lagos and other parts of the country.

A couple of weeks ago, a four-floor building at Ita-Faji area of Lagos Island used as residential and school premises collapsed. This incident led to the death of some, while several others were injured. Few days after that, another building collapsed in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.

Ajayi, who led Kayode Anibaba, former Commissioner for Physical Planning and Environment in Lagos, Adebayo Dipe, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Housing, Ohioma Andy, Director, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Ladi Lewis, former chairman, Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Lagos and Tiwalola Fadeyibi to the Ita-Faaji collapsed building site, noted that it was high time states of the federation embraced its APRN initiative.

It is the hope of the regulatory body that the APRN system, which entails numbering all architectural projects in Nigeria, will further tighten loose ends in monitoring building projects in Nigeria.

The ARCON boss hoped that those directly involved in this despicable act would be brought to book, explaining further that APRN, in addition to reducing the scourge of building failures by eliminating quackery, will also ensure that only fully registered and financially current architects/architectural firms prepare, produce and submit designs for planning/implementation approval and receive such approvals when they are given.

According to him, architects and architectural firms that are registered with the council are to submit architectural building plans for approval/implementation and will be responsible for the supervision of their designs.

He said that this measure was aimed to complement the old practice of submitting building with a copy of the architect’s current practice licence, the affixing of ARCON stamps, signed by the architect and sealed (with the architect’s ARCON seal) on each sheet of the drawings submitted for approval.

He revealed that building can collapse due to non-involvement of professionals and poor designs; over- loading, adding that because of the present development, there must be re-engeering, rebuilding and re-planning of the entire Lagos Island space.



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