Arc. Macaulay Udoka, the Managing Director of Akwa Ibom Property and Investment Company, APICO, has revealed that the company under his stewardship has not received any architectural drawing from quacks other than qualified architects.
The APICO boss, on Wednesday, told the Akwa Ibom State Chapter of Nigerian Institute of Architects, NIA, led by Arc. Abimbola Oke when the group paid him courtesy visit at APICO House that since he assumed office, he is yet to encounter a drawing submitted by a quack architect.
“I happen to be the only architect in APICO right now. I can tell you that since I came here, no drawing has passed through my table that has not been designed by (qualified) architect.
“I have not even encountered any drawing submitted here by a quack maybe they have known that it is an architect seated here. So I can assure the chairman that whatever measure to be introduced to stop quackery, APICO will be in support,” Arc. Udoka told his visitors.
He later stressed that APICO has not been mandated to employ directly otherwise there would have been architects already working at the company. He then dropped the hint that an architect is expected at APICO soon, and he would be incorporated into the system.
Arc. Macaulay Udoka further enthused that with Governor Udom Emmanuel, and Arc. Ime Ekpo, the Commissioner for Lands and Town Planning, better times for APICO are around the corner, saying that the company would soon be back in the process of providing housing.
“For a long time after Shelter Afrique, APICO have not embarked on any major housing development, but I promise you that things are changing. We have the governor who is interested in doing many things. As God will have it, we were given the Commissioner for Lands and Town Planning who, we in APICO, can talk to even in the middle of the night, and he answers us. So he has promised us that in a very short while, APICO will be back in the process of providing housing,” he said.
Having identified the problem of accommodation faced by Akwa Ibom State NIA, APICO boss promised that his managing staff are willing to support the group with some office furniture as they are moving to a donated space.
Earlier in his speech, the Akwa Ibom State NIA Chairman, Arc. Abimbola Oke, made a case that Architects and not quacks should prepare Architectural Building Plans meant to be submitted to development control office for approval.
“We insist that Architectural Building Plans submitted to Development control office for approval are actually prepared by Architects and not quacks.
“It is in view of this that we are proposing that henceforth all Architectural Building Plans submitted and received at the development control offices be accompanied by an ‘Architectural Building Plan Certification’ to be issued only by the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Akwa Ibom State Chapter Secretariat and only to fully registered Architects to be received on behalf of the clients.” NIA Chair said this in his speech.
Arc. Oke asked APICO MD to assist in instructing the implementation of certification on all Architectural Building Plans submitted to and received at the Development Control department of APICO.
Oke decried the housing deficit experienced in the society and expressed the need for government to rise up in the challenge of providing housing through agency such as APICO.
“As at 1991, Nigeria was said to have housing deficit of 7 million units. In 2016 the housing deficit in Nigeria is placed at 17 million units. The problem of inadequate housing for the teeming population is getting more complicated, that is why government needs to rise up to the challenge of housing provision. And government can do that through your agency.
“Housing inadequacy is felt more by the less privileged groups, that is, the low income earners. Even the middle-class have started to feel the pain of the acute housing shortage. Consistent mass housing provision and its financing remain the major way of bridging the housing deficit in our society.
“We therefore present ourselves as very willing and ready partner on any attempt of government at solving the housing inadequacy in Akwa Ibom State,” he said this to APICO head.
Arc. Abimbola Oke also requested that architects and more architects should be employed into the service of Akwa Ibom Property and Investment Company.
Also speaking, a fellow of the group, Arc. Henry Isangedighe called on the enforcement of measures that would forestall the incident of building collapse as happened in December 2016 at the Reigners Bible Church in Uyo. He said that such event was very shameful and terrible and prayed that it would never happen again.