Nigerite Limited, Nigeria’s premier building components solution manufacturing firm, was the cynosure of all eyes at the just concluded Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) Forum 2013.
The company, which won two awards for its innovative building solutions, stood out at the forum with a demonstration of its new dry construction building solution, which made its stand a must-visit for participants and visitors to the forum.
Nigerite, since it opened for business in Nigeria over 50 years ago, has distinguished itself in the market with top-of-the-range and innovative materials that are not only durable, but also environment-friendly.
The award presented to the company by the organisers of the forum was in recognition of its innovativeness and dynamism in the Nigerian built industry.
The forum is a flagship annual event of the Lagos State chapter of Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA) and this year’s event, the fifth in the series, had as theme ‘Architecture and Urban Design.’
Construction stakeholders had, at an interactive session organised by Nigerite, voted for dry construction as a viable alternative to the traditional wet construction.
Speaking at the session with the theme ‘Innovative Building Construction in the 21st Century,’ Ronald Ashkin, technical director, Growth and Employment in States (GEMS), canvassed a departure from wet construction which, he noted, had not been able to respond to the ever increasing demand for housing in the country.
“To address the housing deficit in the country, dry construction is the way to go,” said Chucks Omeife, president, Nigerian Institute of Builders (NIOB).
According to Sam Odia, national director, Fuller Centre for Housing, dry construction saves as much as 70 percent of time when compared with wet construction, explaining that it has unrivalled speed.
In his presentation at the forum, Osei Kwame Agyeman of Casa Assocaiti, a leading architecture firm in Accra, Ghana, linked social conflict among city dwellers to the inability of governments of most West African states to manage well the urban spaces available to them.
Agyeman, whose presentation was titled ‘Urban Spaces and Social Conflict,’ also hinged the spread of social conflict on government’s inability to involve artisans in the informal sector during space creation in most city centres.
He lamented inability of architects to have a major control of urban spacing and planning in most countries of West Africa, stressing that the high flow of pedestrians along major roads in the region had made hawking and street trading essential, and street trading had become a phenomena the government must learn to absorb and handle with care, rather than combat.
“The clash between government officials and artisans in the informal sector will continue until government does the right thing by including the sector in its plan during urban spacing,” he said.
“It is unfortunate that the government spends so much money destabilising the informal sector; these funds should rather be used to legalise already existing structures set-up by these artisans and also in providing them with basic amenities instead of using such huge funds to displace them,” he said further.