The Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has pledged to rejig its operations toward raising the standards of architectural practice in the country. ARCON president, Sir Dipo Ajayi, said the move became necessary to ensure that Nigerian architects are at par with best international standards and practice.
The president spoke at the induction ceremony in Abuja, where 250 architects, firms and technologists were licensed to practice architecture in Nigeria. He also stressed the need for government at all levels should patronise local architects. Ajayi, who revealed that Nigeria now has about 5,000 registered architects, said the Council under his leadership has been working towards increasing the number of registered architects in a year.
According to him, the nation needs nothing less than 20,000 registered architects to fill the gap. “Last year, we registered about 300, while we are licencing 250 now, with a projection to register more this year. So, we are gradually departing from the ritual of once in a year registration process.
“With the new entrants, the number of registered architects in the country is now about 5,000”, he said. Stressing that the number is still a far cry from the required number of registered architects the nation needs. ARCON president said his council had decided to increase the tempo of licensure without compromising quality and standards.
“Presently, we have about 5,000 architects registered in Nigeria, though the country needs nothing less than 20,000 registered architects, when you put government agencies, parastatals, universities and local governments in place”, he added. While appreciating the government for its efforts in developing the country through engagement of professional architects, Ajayi urged the government to do more.
“Government has a lot of things to do in boosting architecture in Nigeria in terms of equipping the universities and polytechnics with relevant tools that can make the study of architecture much easier. “Take for instance, in Ghana, foreign architects cannot practice in that clime without having Ghanaian architects on board.
You can’t just go to Ghana or Europe and open a shop without involving their practicing architects.
“In like manner, our government should ensure that the Nigerian architects are empowered to take over their own space”, he added.