Lagos, ARCON Raise Committee on Project Registration Number  

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Bennett Oghifo

Lagos State government and the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (RCON) have set up a joint committee on the modality and possible implementation of Architects’ Project Registration Number in the state.

The issue of a joint committee was raised when a team of ARCON members, led by its president, Arc. Dipo Ajayi visited the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, recently.

Presenting various issues to the ministry on moving the state’s built sector and architecture forward, Ajayi said, it was necessary for the state to critically look at the initiative and adopt it as one of the conditions to be met before any real estate project, is done.

At the meeting from ARCON were, Arc. Umar Murnai, Registrar of the Council; other members are Architects Kayode Anibaba, Ladi Lewis and Tiwalola Fadeyibi, those on the side of state government are Engr. Abiola Koseegbe, Tpl Funmi Osifuye, General Manager, Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPA); Tpl. Aliu and a lady architect.

Ajayi said the Council had put in place ARCON Projects Registration Number (APRN) that will among other things tackle the menace of building collapse and quackery, plaguing the construction industry.

He said the initiative had since been adopted by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), adding that, if Lagos state adopts the policy, it would have done itself greater good because the initiative would be additional internally generated revenue to the state.

In his presentation, Murnai said that, this measure was to complement the content and spirit of the National Building Codes, which are to ensure that only professionals with the requisite knowledge and expertise of the building process are engaged to carry out building projects and are duly governed by the various Acts in our statute books.

According to the Registrar, APRN is a mandatory registration number issued to all architects practicing in Nigeria for each of their projects.

He said, this is to certify that these projects are being executed by Nigerian citizens, who are fully registered with the professional body.

Murnai added that, the project registration number serves as a layer of quality assurance regarding the quality of the built environment.

He said with that initiative, only fully registered and financially current architects and firms are eligible to prepare, produce and submit architectural building plans for approvals/ implementation and to receive those approvals when they are given.

Specifically, the Registrar said the Council had observed that certain regulation in the state’s planning law empowers draftsmen to design, urging the state to remove that provision, as it runs against the federal government’s provision and courts’ pronouncement.

While a few clarifications were raised by the officials of the state, the Ministry’s PS said the government had noted the Council’s grouse, assuring them, that the offending section may soon be removed through government’s policy.

However, some of the staff in the ministry expressed fear, saying that, adoption of APRN may further delay the planning process in the state.

Responding, Murnai said, the process was automated, hence, it would not delay the planning process, rather, it will make help the state to ensure standardization, which will also help the state to increase its internally generated revenue.