President of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Arch. Festus Njoku, has expressed concerns over what he described as neglect of Nigerian architects in the execution of government projects.
Arch. Njoku stated this while speaking with Housing News Crew ahead of the NIA’s 4th distinguished lecture series scheduled to hold September 24 at Shehu Musa Yardua Center, Abuja.
He emphasized the importance of Nigerian architects, especially in the infrastructural development of the nation, saying undermining them is detrimental to the nation’s economy.
The NIA President lamented on the patronage of foreign architects to execute what their Nigerian counterparts can do far more better.
His words; “The architect is the master builder. He conceives the idea and transfers to a paper through sketch where another person can read his mind.
“It is a pity things are no longer happening in our country. Now what is happening in our country, you see Chinese bringing this sort of package they call “loan,” but they go further to put conditions. ‘our men will do the work’. They will do the design, they will do the construction, and our governments are willing to have it that way.”
“We are not happy about it because Nigerian architects have the capacity to design all over the world.” “We cannot go to China to do their works for them.” He added.
Articulating his vision as NIA President, Arch. Njoku said he looks forward to ensuring a reduction in the cost of housing delivery despite some challenges affecting the housing sector. He disclosed that plans were already in place to launch the ‘Nigeria Affordable House’.
“Although alternatives to expensive building materials have been discovered, it is hand woven by somebody which makes the cost higher. Therefore, a strategy to mechanize the whole process is being worked on to reduce cost of production. Nigeria Affordable House is already on the way. We will present it to the public next year.” He assured.
Ibrahim Muhammed, Housing News, Abuja.