By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
Former Managing Director of Anambra State Housing Corporation , Arc. Mike Nwafor , FNIA has said that major challenges retarding the growth and development of Nigerian society particularly Anambra State could be eliminated by Architects if given opportunities into leadership of the state and nation at large .
Arc. Nwafor, who spoke as a keynote speaker at the 2021 Architects conference by the Nigerian Institute of Architects at Chicotel Classique Hotel Awka, the capital of Anambra state, encouraged Nigerian Architects to invest in research and technology to advance and enjoy their practice.
He said most problems bedevilling Anambra State and the country could be solved through the leadership qualities inherent in Architectural professionals in the country, even as he narrated varying options for Architects to thrive in an era like this.
Speaking on the theme of the event: “Architectural Practice in Nigeria; Challenges and Future Possibilities”, Arc. Nwafor who was former Governorship Aspirant of African Liberation Party expressed that Architects in Nigeria are faced with rigorous challenges which militate against the supposed impact of the profession in the country.
While he mentioned climate change, shortage of qualified personnel, use of local building materials and affordable technology, as some of the key challenges of the profession in Nigeria, he listed that skills in graphic designing, drone aided projects, effective communication and expertise in real estate could enable an Architect expand his career path in the technology driven world.
Nwafor , the CEO of Minarc Ltd and a Fellow of Nigeria Institute of Architects, also noted that Architects could venture into estate developments and explore various business models, noting that the Architect is created to rule his world.
He informed further that all that is needed is for the Architect to reach out, subdue and conquer his world with innovative ideas and architectural inventions.
He said Architects shouldn’t wait for recognitions but force themselves to be recognized through their products and services, adding that business opportunities abound for Architects as in all other professionals.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the chairman Nigerian Institute of Architects, Anambra state chapter Arch. Osita Paul Okafor, MNIA, PHF said the conference was to enlighten young professionals in the field to imbibe techniques of harnessing the potentials of the profession for survival in the COVID-19 induced hardship in the country and world at large.
He said the topics discussed at the event was selected such that it educates young ones on developmental practices and means for self upgrade with skills to sustain the evolving practices of the modern era.
He insisted that upgrading in Architecture does not mean learning AutoCAD, Archicad, Revit, among others but learning trends, sustainability and skills to sustain the evolving practices of the modern era Architecture. He harped on the need for a modern era Architect to have knowledge of the environment, ecology, among others and be ready to adapt designs to the ever changing climate.
Arc. Okafor further encouraged Architects to ensure their designs are user-friendly, flexible, aesthetically acceptable and attain good maintainability.
Similarly, the Chairman of the occasion, Arc. Ven. Chuks Okoli, opined that the conference availed an opportunity to address the declining patronage of professionals in the execution of government projects as well as the emerging loopholes in beautification of the environment.
www.odogwublog.com reports that other speakers at the event include Arc. Sir. Peter Okpala, Includsive and Innovative Solutions to Sustainable Development in Anambra; Arc. Tony Maduabum, Architectural education in post COVID-19 era; Special Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano on Community Project Implementation, Arc. Okey Innocent Ezeobi, Architecture and Entrepreneurship and Senior Special Assistant o Anambra Governor on Project management and monitoring, Arc. Nkemakolam Ume who spoke on ARCON, APCE and APRN.
Architectural students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University who were part of the conference, Miss Precious Okafor and Mr Joshua Akore, described architect as a broad course, sending a vote of thanks to the Institute for giving them the opportunity in gaining more knowledge.
The 2021 edition of the Architecture conference was graced by seasoned Architects and students from various institutions in the state and featured presentation of prizes to the winners of the student design competition where the first to fourth winners smiled home with N100,000, N75,000, N50,000, and N20,000, respectively.
Chairman Conference Planning Committee, Arc Ikenna Michael Onuorah MNIA informed www.odogwublog.com that the second day the Architects toured some Legacy projects of the Obiano adminstration including the Anambra International conference center Awka, and Anambra International Passenger and Cargo Airport, Umuleri
Some members were honoured at the event including Arc Sir Peter Okpala, Director Physical Planning Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Arc Anthony Maduabum, Arc. Okechukwu Innocent Ezeobi and Arc Ibeanu Chike Chamberlain .
A lecturer at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, COOU, Uli campus, Arc Dr Oluchi Ifebi described the conference as apt, and commended the planning committee for pulling the conference through against all odds.