To ensure members become homeowners, the Lagos Chapter of Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA) has revived its cooperatives scheme and embarked on advocacy to increase its membership base.
Plans are also underway to commence development of properties fully owned by members, who are contributors to the cooperative. Chairman of the chapter, Fitzgerald Umah disclosed this at the Biennial General Meeting of the institute held in Lagos. While stressing that it development may take a while, Umah encouraged architects to join the cooperative to benefit from the scheme. He also said the chapter has valued its property in Lagos and considering various options from joint venture development to self-development or sale.
According to him, a competition has been set up for students, firms and individuals to come up with viable proposals in moving forward. He expressed hope that the present executive will improve on the progress made to achieve a befitting development or investment decision.
Umah, who was elected chairman of the chapter for the next two years, thanked members for the confidence reposed on him and appealed for more support and contributions to ensure that the lofty programmes enumerated by the executives will be fulfilled.
He stressed that the yearly Lagos Architects Forum has been rebranded and redefined with a broadened content, thereby witnessing significant increase in exhibitors evidenced by the sale of 98 per cent of available booths, 2,500 registered participants and inevitable increase in revenue at the last edition.
Also, the chapter has planned a pilot scheme for debt recovery for full members. The debt recovery scheme followed a proposal made by the chairman of the Practice Committee at the March 2017 meeting.
Under the scheme, two highly recommended law firms were to be hired on a retainer basis on behalf of full members and legal matters. Although details of offsetting this additional financial burden are yet to be finalised . Under the proposed scheme, members so affected in a case of a defaulting client, should have recourse to the chapter first, while the chapter should try all legitimate means to resolve the matter amicably, failing which the matter may be referred to the law firms for their attention. This was contained in a report compiled by the chairman of Practice Committee of the chapter, Ifeoma George –Ufot, which was presented at the event.