The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has urged the Nigerian Institute of Architects, NIA, and other related bodies to evolve cheapest ways of building affordable houses.
Mr Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, said the vice-president received on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa, members of the NIA led by its President, Mr Enyi Ben-Eboh.
The vice-president said there would be a more significant impact on Nigerians if professional bodies played more active roles in the implementation of government plans and policies.
Mr Osinbajo, who made reference to the social housing scheme of the Federal Government, said the programme would significantly impact more Nigerians if professional bodies such as the NIA played an active role.
“When we developed the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), it was part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were very concerned about social housing, not just as a way of providing cheap housing for the poorest among us, but also as a way of providing jobs and job opportunities. But I am not so sure we got much response from the NIA.
“One of the advantages of professional bodies like yours is to make it possible for a vast majority of our people to get decent housing for instance, finding the cheapest ways of building 300,000 affordable houses.
“For the vast majority of Nigerians, the relevance of our professional institutions, especially when it comes to the design and building, must be felt when it comes to the basics.
“I certainly will like to see what sorts of contributions the NIA will make in developing policies around social housing.”
He commended the Institute for coming up with the Integrated Infrastructure Research for Development Conference as its contribution to the country’s National Development Plan, noting that situating architecture in the creative industry was apt.
Osinbajo also emphasised the need for the building sector to drive the industry and its operations as much as possible.
According to him, it is very important that the sector itself drives reforms, regulation and policy.
Earlier in his remarks, Ben-Eboh, solicited the support of the vice-president for the body and commended the Federal Government for its contribution to the growth of Nigerian professionals by signing Executive Order 02 in 2017.
“Without doubt, Executive Order 2 laid the foundation for the gradual take-off of our nation’s envisioned industrial diversification and self-sustaining economy with 100 per cent in-country capacity utilisation and development,” he said.
He announced the selection of Osinbajo as the grand patron of the NIA’s Integrated Infrastructure Conference scheduled for October 2022.
During the meeting, the NIA made a presentation on the implementation guide of the Institute’s Integrated Infrastructure Research for Development Conference.
Other members of the NIA delegation included Mobolaji Adeniyi, 1st Vice President, Sani Saulawa, 2nd Vice President, Chioma Wogu-Ogbonna and 3rd Vice President, Chike Ibeanu.
The General Secretary, and former President of the Institute, Obong Victor Attah, who was also a former Governor of Akwa Ibom, among others were also in the meeting.