The President of the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA), Peter Oborn, has appealed to governments and stakeholders in Commonwealth Nations on the urgent need to implement sustainable urbanisation.
He stated that such action included the need to plan for urban expansion, the importance of integrated urban planning, the role of technology and the use of data.
Oborn, who stated these at the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) 63rd Annual General Meeting and Conference in Abuja recently, also called for knowledge sharing through dialogue and increased opportunities for professional training in urban development.
At the event, which was also attended by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, represented by, Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Oyelola Yisa Ashiru; the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, explained that the Federal Government of Nigeria is currently embarking on radical reforms in the sector which is in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
While declaring open the 63rd NIA AGM, Dangiwa stated that “these reforms would ensure quick, easy, and efficient access to land.”
On the housing deficit which has been variously put at 17 million, 21 million, 22 million and 28 million, respectively, the minister described it as a source of embarrassment to the government, and called for urgent reforms.
Also, in his remark, the immediate-past President of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Enyi Ben-Eboh, reiterated the need for architects to focus their attention on Afrocentric architecture, stating that “if we are to remain relevant within the architectural space, we must begin to evolve sustainable ways of providing shelter that are uniquely ours and meets all the indices of sustainability while satisfying function and durability.”
Meanwhile, the President of NIA and Chairman of the National Organising Committee for the Conference, Mrs. Mobolaji Adeniyi, in her welcome address, stated that one of the main aims of this year’s event was to glean insights, share experiences and forge new paths towards creating sustainable and resilient cities of the future.
Adeniyi disclosed that NIA was founded in 1960, and “we remain true to producing members that create superior designs, shaping our world, putting safety first, and creating opportunities for our people.”
The highlight of the event was the NIA inducting new fellows in Lagos, and calling for expression of interest for the development of property through build, operate and transfer (BOT) system.