Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Wednesday enjoined architects to continue to develop standard designs that would enhance urban regeneration and infrastructural development of the state. Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode Ambode, represented by Mr Gbolahan Lawal, Commissioner for Housing, gave the advice in Lagos at the opening of the Lagos Architects Forum 2019, organised by the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Lagos Chapter.
The theme of the forum is ‘Lagos 10.0: Architectural Regeneration 2 – The Lagos Response’. According to the governor, architects have vital roles to play in the urban renewal and infrastructural development of the state, saying that the forum should be a platform for addressing and proffering solutions to infrastructure challenges of the state.
“Presently, the government is working towards promoting building designs that will be affordable to low-income earners. The focus is to create a liveable environment within the city using social housing components. “Architects as the key drivers in housing development need to work together with other allied professionals to develop the designs that will facilitate regeneration of Lagos State,’’ he said.
He expressed the hope that the forum would add value to infrastructure development of the state, to make it a true mega-city and equally proffer lasting solution to the menace of building collapse in the state. Also read: ‘Impact of Ambode’s administration felt in virtually every part of Lagos’ Ambode assured the architects of the state government’s collaboration and readiness in providing the enabling environment for the professionals to thrive.
Earlier, Mr Fitzgerald Umah, Chairman of NIA, had called on government nationwide to implement and enforce all existing laws relating to the urban space in their respective domains as a proactive step towards curbing the menace of building collapse.
Umah said there was also an urgent need to engage the services of certified professionals in the building environment for all construction projects in the country. According to him, the Institute had in 2017 presented a document to the Lagos State Government titled ‘Architects Intervention Programme,’ which, if implemented, would help to checkmate the recurring incidence of building collapse.
“The document is aimed at enhancing the Building Plan Approval Process in Lagos to ensure that only qualified professionals are engaged in construction projects. It would also ensure that the relevant professionals take ownership of projects designed by them.
“Not until this happens, we will still be faced with this unabated and recurring challenge. “Our government must not be seen to be paying lip service to resolve the issue of building collapse. “The phenomenon has taken the lives of hundreds of innocent citizens with attendant loss of property and economies in many occurrences over several years and still counting,’’ Umah said.
Mr Ajayi Dapo, President, Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON), urged the Lagos State government to intensify more efforts to effect a comprehensive urban renewal of the state. Dapo said that most parts of Lagos metropolis have been overdue for renewal, particularly the Lagos Island and Ijora Badia area of the state.