The Nigerian Institute of Architects has appealed to the National Assembly to support a bill it was sponsoring to curb the menace of building collapse in the country.
The National President of the Institute, Mr. Sunny Echono, made the appeal on Friday, when he led members of his executive to pay a courtesy visit on the Clerk to the National Assembly, Amos Ojo, who is also an architect.
Echono said the proposed bill spells out conditions that would ensure that only professionals would be allowed to carry out construction works in the country.
He said, “It is an agenda of the institute, just like in the issue of building collapse we talk about, to straighten the legislative framework and the laws.
“This will ensure that only those who have the capacity, the experience and the competence to carry out construction activities do so.”
He added that the architects plan to avoid a situation where professionals make use of inappropriate building materials or engage quacks for construction of projects.
He said the proposed law specifically want to bring defaulters to book and give the NIA, the legal teeth to enforce it.
He also said it would give guidelines on how to designate monuments, buildings of historical values and other national assets in order to preserve them.
He said it would designate proper places for palaces, worship centres, traditional settings, to be able to promote them as historical sites.
Echono stated, “We want to make it compulsory for our buildings to be responsive to all the users including those who are physically challenged.
“There are some building today that are not compliant, if one is on a wheel chair it takes two hours just to get into the premises.
“We want to make sure there is adequate provision for disable people in every building in this country.
“These are part of the things for which we went to enlist the support of the National Assembly to the project so that we can now begin to derive more value from our buildings.
“The current practice where the lifespan of building in Nigeria is only between 10 and 20 years is unacceptable because in other parts of the world buildings last 100 years.
“It is only when your house can last for that long that you can derive the benefit of the investment you put in.
“If you have to replace it after 20 years you can never pay back then cost of construction hence you will lose.”