Mr. Tonye Oliver Braide was on Nov. 21, 2015 decorated the 26th president of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) at the close of NIA Annual General Assembly and Conference in Abuja. In this interview with Daily Trust, Mr. Braide states that the country has about 4000 to 5000 registered Architects in Nigeria, he also pledges his support to deal with anybody who assists somebody to steal public funds.
Read Excerpts below:
ICPC chairman said that corruption cases will be traced to architects who designed houses that get linked to laundered funds. How do you react to this?
The law of the land says if you buy a stolen good, you’re culpable. This is to dissuade people from buying stolen goods because if a thief steals and can’t dispose of what he has stolen, the incentive to steal isn’t there. There’s nothing new there. You who have helped the person who has stolen to hide the money, you’re culpable technically.
But architects are business people. Developers come and ask them to design. They do their work?
The very first thing, when commissioned to do a job, the person has to give enough documentation to show that he actually owns that property. Most of the time when clients are commissioning architects, architects demand survey plan- a legal instrument that confirms ownership-the CofO, title document of the land. You won’t get paid for a project on site that is involved in litigation. So you on your own part have to confirm.
I know some architects who don’t follow the right part – they’re anxious to draw! Architecture is beyond just drawing. You must ask for documentation with which to open a file. If the man says he’s Mr Brown and the documents say he’s Mr Yellow, of course some question marks are there. You have to do diligence checks.
So you’ll support ICPC to deal with architects who fail to do all this?
I will support a process that deals with anybody who assists somebody to steal public funds. If Mr A stole money, certainly he’ll not build 72 houses under the name Mr A. And you know you’re talking to Mr A and the papers say Mr X. There’s element of deceit. The best you can do is to reject the job on the basis that the title is not well defined.
How many architects have we in Nigeria?
We have about 4,000 to 5,000 registered architects but we have floating…about 25,000 who have formal architectural education. We have another 15,000 who have some degree of exposure, they can use computer, draw some lines. Then we have some people who’re not architects…because the software is so user-friendly that some secretary can open up autocad and begin to work it and that can bring out what looks like design.
We have businessmen who just go buy catalogue of 1,000 house designs and start to build. There’s a very big job for ICPC to round up these people and make them go to do formal training, get registered and come under a regulatory body so we have one symbol of quality.
Read full interview here