NIA, ACAN Canvass For Deregulation In Building Industry

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The Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) Lagos Chapter and Association of Consulting Architects (ACAN) has passionately appealed to government to deregulate the fees for the building industry. Making the call at a seminar organised in Lagos recently, NIA and ACAN sought for absolute control on setting of fees for their professional services, arguing that their counterparts in other sectors dictate their fees. In the same vein, they advocated for the replacement of Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) scale being used by the government as the benchmark for paying their fees with their new revised scale pointing out that the former is not commensurate with their services. Delivering a lecture on the theme: “Architects New Remuneration and Commensurate Professional Services: The Architects Duties and clients Rights” the former chairman of the chapter and the president of ACAN, Mr Roti Delano noted that most of the other professionals outside the building industry dictate their fees in a deregulated manner and wondered why the professionals in the building industry continue to have government deregulated fees. We are already in a deregulated economy. Telecommunications is now deregulated. The media is deregulated, the oil industry about to be deregulated with the Petroleum Industry Bill. The building industry also should be deregulated. We do not need the government to do this for us. The Federal Scale of fees should be dropped and the NIA scale should be the operative scale for both the public and private sectors” he added. According to him, the 1996 scale of fees still being used today has out lived its usefulness as a result of sophistication in the taste of the clients, depreciating value of the naira, increased cost of project as well as discriminating fees between the indigenous and foreign architects. On the duties of an architect to the client, he pointed out among other things, examining the site sub-soil and surroundings, preparing sketch plans and specification and submit them to the employer for approval with an estimate of the probable cost it requested. Consulting and advising the employer as to the proposed work. He stressed the need for his colleagues to be cautious to giving discount to the client on the basis of consideration for contract at the expense of qualitative work. Isaac Nwankwo