By Cynthia Igbokwe
The former Managing Director of Anambra State Housing Corporation, Arc. Mike Nwafor, says the major challenges retarding the growth and development of Nigerian society, particularly Anambra State, can be eliminated by architects if given opportunities in leadership positions in the state and nation.
Arc. Nwafor made this assertion while presenting a keynote address at the 2021 Anambra Architects Conference organized by the Nigerian Institute of Architects on the 14th and 15th October at Cichotel Classique Hotel, Awka. He encouraged Nigerian Architects to invest in research and technology to advance and enjoy their practice.
He said most problems bedeviling 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”, Nwafor who was a former governorship aspirant of African Liberation Party said that architects in Nigeria were 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 said that skills in graphic designing, drone aided projects, effective communication and expertise in real estate could enable an Architect to expand his career path in a technology driven world.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the chairman, Nigerian Institute of Architects, Anambra State Chapter, Arc Osita Paul Okafor, 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 were selected to educate 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 did 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.
Similarly, the chairman of the occasion, Arc Ven. Chuks Okoli, opined that the conference provided 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.
Architectural students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University who were part of the conference, Miss Precious Okafor and Mr Joshua Akore, described Architecture as a broad course, while thanking the Institute for giving them the opportunity of 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.