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NIA Pledges Support To Agencies In Ending Quackery 

After the recently increasing cases of building collapse, fire outbreaks, as well as other malaise in the building sector, the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) has pledged its support in working with all agencies to curb the menace of unqualified individuals in the industry.

NIA President, Enyi Ben-Eboh, said architects have always advocated the deployment of best practices in the monitoring and certification of the various stages of the building construction process by the relevant professionals in neighbourhoods and cities, as well as the strict enforcement of extant laws and codes.

“We believe that what’s at stake goes beyond mere criminality and affects the entire economic fabric of our society. It is the responsibility of all well-meaning professionals to work for the economic prosperity of the country,” he said.

Ben-Eboh, who stated this in a statement to mark the World Architecture Day themed, ‘Design for Health’, celebrated globally on October 3, by the International Union of Architects (UIA), called on architects to promote these initiatives by working with other relevant stakeholders, such as policymakers, construction industry, and health care professionals to advance good health in communities through quality design.

According to him, this year’s theme was conceived on the heels of the recent global pandemic that almost brought the world to a standstill and has changed several world systems, as well as our response to the use of spaces within the context of these new realities.

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Ben-Eboh said: “This theme challenges all architects to be more circumspect while designing with respect to the health quality and livability of the environment and spaces that they create in addition to placing health and wellbeing as front-burner issues in their designs with emphasis on a preventive approach to healthcare as a means of reducing the curative aspects.

“As architects, we are more than ever before conscious of the complex relationship between architecture and the sustainability of the human race not only in preventing diseases but also in the totality of man’s wellbeing within the context of the environment.

“It is a well-known fact that the construction industry is one of the highest contributors to atmospheric greenhouse gases, accounting for about 38 percent of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions.”

He noted that a significant number of diseases and/or health challenges emanate from unhealthy and unhygienic environments and spaces, the bulk of which are products of the works of architects, not surprisingly most public health emergencies, with a few exceptions, tend to affect poorer, usually unplanned communities the most.

“Unlike communities that promote good architecture and where architecture as a profession flourishes, poor unplanned communities are often at the receiving end of both public health emergencies and initiatives.

“That perhaps explains why the UN Sustainable Development Goals, (SDG) defined an urgent need for action in SDG Goal No 3. This goal connects well with the architect’s principal objective of creating safe and livable environments.”

The NIA president explained that this year’s yearly conference, which will be held next month in Cross River State, themed ‘Architecture, a Resource for Health and Wellbeing,’ would be debating how to make living spaces healthier, safer, and more fulfilling.