Standardized Housing Schemes Can Lessen the Post-covid Hardship – ARCON to FG

Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has called on the government to initiate new post-COVID-19 standardised housing for Nigerians.

Besides, the architects’ regulatory body also wants the authorities to initiate the framework and drive the mechanism to reconfigure, reimagining and retrofit existing housing stock in the country.

These were parts of the recommendations arrived at during this year’s Architects Colloquium, held both physically and virtually in Abuja.

Reeling out the recommendations to some selected journalists in Lagos at the weekend, the President of ARCON, Sir. Oladipupo Ajayi, urged both the federal and state government to dialogue with the private sector to balance social responsibility with commercial interests in the area of public housing and public facilities provision.

Ajayi was accompanied by ARCON Registrar, Umar Murnai; former president, Jimoh Faworaja and a committee member, Tiwa Farayibi during the event.

Ajayi called on government to partner with the architectural profession to provide emergency shelter solutions that are compliant with sustainable standards as delineated in the proceedings of the colloquium.

Besides, he stated that the government should encourage indigenous research in the architectural profession as part of the post-COVID-19 recovery national plan.

“This will eventually culminate in building local capacity in the built environment for the new normal. This should include rural and social housing policy and community-based architecture as an essential part for the national recovery plan, post-COVID-19,” he said.

Government agencies, according to Ajayi, were urged to harvest innovative ideas from the architectural profession as it directly impacts on all sectors of the economy in holistic terms akin to the built environment.

ARCON president said “The Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation as newly renamed is called upon to partner with the architectural profession in areas of innovation in architectural design for the well-being of society by drawing up specific framework and recovery plans for communities, focus groups, economic sectors and the teeming youths.”

Professionals in the built environment, he said were enjoined to improve the standard education of students, practitioners and the general public in securing the environment as responsive persons.

Accordig to him, government was also enjoined to include safety and security standard in the building code as part of the new normal on both post-COVID-19 and national security matters respectively.

The recommendations read “All tiers of governments should establish a Safer Communities Commission to address divergent insecurity issues in our communities. This is integral to rural planning, rural housing, and economic recovery.

“There should be synergy and advocacy amongst the built environment professionals and security experts towards crime prevention in the use of non-kinetic and kinetic approaches.

On the achievements of the council in the last three years, Ajayi stated that with the help of the minister of Work and Housing, it has commenced the renovation of ARCON’S Lagos Office to create a working environment that motivates members of staff and befits the status of the position as the leader in the built environment.

According to him, the renovation work  has reached 80 per cent, mentioning that his council has also reclaimed a seemingly lost property in the Federal Capital Territory and currently in the process of erecting a befitting edifice having successfully had the groundbreaking and foundation laying ceremony on the site carried out by the minister.

“The last council having completed her tenure on June 12, had been dissolved and the management is currently in place to run the affair of the council pending the inauguration of a new council by the minister within the shortest possible time,” he said.

Source: African Housing News

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