In a short interview with Mr. Teju Ajayi, conducted by NREH correspondent, the MD/CEO of The Architects Place Ltd stated that there are breathtaking architectural masterpiece in Nigeria and that development is a gradual process. He also talked on the rentage issue which has been and still is a major worry for stakeholders in the real estate sector. Read interview below:
NREH: Thank you very much sir for granting us this interview. Please do introduce yourself, The Architect Place Ltd(TAPL), what you do and how long has TAPL been in business?
My name is Teju Ajayi a native of Ita Ogbolu in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State. I’m married to an Architect, Toyin Ajayi and blessed with two. I’m a practicing Architect with over 9 years experience in the industry. The Architects Place Ltd is an incorporated company set up to manage and implement efficient and cost effective delivery of developmental projects, Interior Design/Implementation and peculiar product branding.
Well, we started as a registered company 11th of September 2009.
NREH: How would you describe being an architect in this part of the world?
To me being an architect, gives a person an edge to slip through most apparent problems from different backgrounds by being able to see hidden details, not easily seen by others. Architecture requires a certain set of skills, and honestly, not everyone has them. Now that is not to say that the field of architecture takes only one kind of person. But there is still a common thread among those in the profession. I also think it takes a certain set of specific skills to be successful. Be it music, art, fashion, religion…just name it. Architecture, I think it’s a profession most dearly loved by God.
NREH: How would you describe a typical Nigerian attitude towards Architects? Do the average Nigerian think ‘An Architect’ when thinking to build a house or renovate?
An average Nigerian thinks they can sketch what they intend building and feel the services of the Architect isn’t needed. They get the services of good artisans, share their ideas with them and they let them create something similar to what they want. Once that is achieved, the client becomes the Project Manager while the Foreman is the Builder……*smile*
NREH: In the value chain of real estate, how important should an architect be placed?
Architects are Principals.
NREH: What are the challenges facing an Architect practising in Nigeria and how do you recommend they can be solved?
Sincerely, it’s an individual challenge so I might not be able to answer for everyone. But I think the Nigeria Institute of Architects should work more with the State and Federal Government to make sure all building comply to approved building regulations and standards.
NREH: Any particular reason why we do not see a lot of the breath taken architectural pieces we see in other parts of the world here?
Obviously we do have some. Our National Theatre is one of the best architectural masterpiece in the world. Look at the NCC Head Office building over $200 million dollars was spent in erecting the masterpiece. CBN Headquarters, NNPC Towers just to mention few. What will you say about the Faith Tabernacle, Intercontinental Hotel amongst others? Development is a gradual process and it doesn’t happen in a day.
NREH: Your company has been the brain behind structures and renovation of sites for various locations of different telecommunication company sites all over Nigeria, what are the processes put in place in achieving the desirable goal and customer satisfaction?
Our mission is to provide quality services that exceeds the expectations of our esteemed customers.
We grow through creativity, precision and delivering to timelines. We integrate honesty, integrity and business ethics into all aspects of our projects.
NREH: How affordable are the services of TAPL?
Affordability begins with availability. To date, the increasing affordability of our services and the strength of our project team have enabled us to grow in the industry. With our pro-active, flexible, client-focused attitude, supported by proven experience and procedures, we have earned a much valued place on Tender lists of many Blue Chip Clients, Private and Corporate bodies.
NREH: Alright, let’s digress from your profession a bit into your field in general. Well-meaning citizens of the country have called on government at the state and federal level to checkmate rentage – enact law on rent control, they fear that if this is not done, it would be difficult for the average Nigerian to afford a decent apartment in the nearest future, what’s your take on this?
To me, this is good news to tenants because Landlords have practically taken potential tenants hostage. However, some have argued that rent control violates landlord rights. Proponents of this concept believe that Nigeria is a capitalist economy and so, people who invest their hard earned money in real estate deserve to optimize or – if you like – maximize the return on their investment. I feel there is a balance somewhere that pays both parties. Let’s pray it works out as planned.
NREH: Thank you once again for your time.