President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the National Assembly would want more participation of Nigerian professionals in the design and execution of projects in the country.
Mr Lawan made the remarks at the 2021 Architecture Annual Award and Fellowship Investiture of the Nigerian Institute Architects, according to a statement on Thursday in Abuja from Ola Awoniyi, his Special Adviser on Media.
Mr Lawan was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award alongside Governor of Taraba State, Architect Darius Ishaku, while the Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, was among the recipients of the Honorary Fellow of the Institute.
Mr Lawan, speaking on behalf of the awardees, expressed gratitude to members of the institute, who he described as the “designers of the world’’.
He said that despite the relevance of architects in making the environment a comfortable place, they are yet to be accorded their rightful place in the country.
“I believe the architects have not been given their rightful place.
“In the National Assembly, from this time on, you have distinguished architects and our starting point will be to look into possible legislation to actualise the dreams of President Muhammed Buhari to get local contents considered very well in Nigeria.
He said that certainly, Executive Order 5, which the President signed, meant a lot and explains the feelings of his administration.
“Executive Order 5 states that our professionals in Nigeria must be involved in everything that we do in this country as far as it is possible, we will insist on that.
“Incidentally, your President is a Permanent Secretary.
“So your first assignment when you go to defend your budget before the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, will be to come to us with clearly defined provisions,’’ he said.
He said that the provisions are to enable Nigerian architects who are highly skilled and competent to be included in projects.
Mr Lawan said that architects deserved to be involved not only in the Nigerian environment but also in any other environment outside the country.
“We are proud of Nigerian professionals who have gone out to do so much but they have left here.
“So we want to see more and more participation of Nigerian professionals, particularly our architects, in how we continue to build a modern Nigeria.
“I believe that with cheaper and less resources, Nigerians can do well with its indigenous professionals,’’ Mr Lawan said.
The Senate President advocated legislative interventions to halt cases of building collapse: “I believe that building collapse that we experience in our major cities needs the attention of the National Assembly.
“We must make it mandatory for certain procedures and processes to be respected and obeyed so that our building will not collapse easily.
“Probably, we have been infiltrated by quacks. People who have no proper training in all these professions whether architecture, surveying or building, yet they participate in the building processes,’’ he noted.
Mr Lawan said that the House wants to see how quacks can be stopped from participating in the building and construction industry
“We should be going for legislation so that appropriate incentives will be provided and appropriate penalties earmarked for failures or infractions of the law,’’ Mr Lawan said.